The Japan News Quiz 

In a week dominated with further falls in the world financial markets and a fair few frankly bizarre cases of random stabbings in the local news let us bring you some of the other stories happening in and around Japan.

The Japan News Quiz 24 March (PDF 157KB)
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The Japan News Quiz 

The main story over the weekend centered about events happening on Wall Street and no doubt many of our students working in the financial sector here in Japan will have been keeping a close eye on the markets.
So this week I've tried to keep the doom and gloom out of the quiz.

The Japan News Quiz 18 March (PDF 187KB)

I've also loading everything up as one file, use the controls within Acrobat Reader to determine which pages you want to print.
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Using Junior Scrabble with Young Learners 

I've had a box of Scrabble Junior lying around the classroom for ages, but had struggled to use it in my classes. Various reasons..but even on the easiest game there didn't seem to be much educational value getting students to lay tiles over ready spelt words.
Until today that what can only be described as a flash of inspiration, I grabbed some card and cut it up into blank tiles. I then wrote lower case alphabet letters on. And voila! I now have a new game for reinforcing the lower case alphabet...which is essential if I'm to reach my goal of getting all our young students into the habit of reading!
So, if you've got a box of Junior Scrabble lying around gathering dust, get cutting that card!

...of course my ultimate goal is to have my students challenge me to game of real Scrabble (no pictures) but that seems all a long way off at the moment.
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Japan News Quiz 

Last week we had a few stories from London involving Japanese interests so I decided that we'd introduce a new section to the quiz called London Calling...great chance to get The Clash into the mix as well!
So if you want to check if your students have been keeping up with current affairs grab a copy of the quiz, and notes for you, below:

Student Notes (PDF 172KB)

Teacher Notes (PDF 196KB)
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How to Draw an Elephant 

During my lesson planning for a class on Saturday I decided that we'd concentrate on the two adjectives 'long' and 'short'.
I'd already decided to use play dough in the class so the kids could see who could roll out the longest sausage, who could make it short. And possibly we could also include 'big' and 'small' in the mix while we were at it.
I'd also decided I wanted to do a little drawing with the kids. I usually catch the kids programming on NHK3 on Sunday afternoons and they always do this really simplified line drawing which the kids at home can copy. And as I often just give them a colouring sheet, thought that if they could draw the picture first it would be so much more fun.
So, what has a long nose? Well of course it's an elephant. Should be easy to find instructions for drawing a simple line drawn elephant on the internet? Think again, 15 minutes later I'd seen hundreds of great elephants but all of them were way too difficult for my students to attempt.
So it was time to put together our guide to drawing a really easy carton type elephant that even your youngest students can manage:

Step 1:

Draw a big arch.

Step 2:

Create the feet and draw a line up to the mouth.

Step 3:

Draw the trunk

Step 4:

Add an ear.

Step 5:

Draw a dot for the eye and add the mouth.

Step 6:

Finish by drawing the tail.

You and your students should now have a perfectly good elephant for colouring or whatever you choose to do with it.

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