Lesson 3. When is your Birthday?

I spread this chapter over three lessons; with half the time dedicated to learning and remembering the month names, and the remaining time to asking and answering "When is your birthday?". 

Here's the plan for the first lesson.

Greeting - Hello, how are you, etc. But today throw in 'What month is it now?'. If you are lucky, at least one student will understand and try to answer.

Chant - The accompanying CD for Eigo Noto 2 has a chant for months, but it is very difficult!

I like to let the students listen anyway, and see their reactions. I will repeat the CD later and they are always surprised that they can understand it and chant along with it. But the first time is really just listening.

- Next I use flash cards to chant the months (Japanese one side, English the other).
- I then say a number, and the students say the month. Pretty easy but can be fun.

Matching pictures
- Months is another good lesson where you can throw a bit of cultural information into the mix. If you know your Japanese culture then you can do this alone. If not, or you want some more unusual ideas then ask a teacher to help you.

I prepare 2 sets of cards. One with pictures of English festivals, events etc and one with Japanese.

I start with easy cards (Christmas, Setsubun, Graduation etc), and show the pictures to the students, and get them to guess which month it happens.

I continue this using more difficult cards. You can really show the students some interesting culture here, from graduation in England being different to Japan, to pancake day existing or the fact we have fireworks in winter, which usually gets a big reaction! Of course you will use festivals and events from your own home country.

Chant - As before. But the students should be able to chant along now.

Game - Karuta. I know, I know, Karuta again! But they love it! And soon we will be looking at more at grammar points, rather than vocabulary and won't have as much chance to play!

I play as many rounds of this as time allows.

1. I say the months, they grab the months. Easy!
2. I say a number, they grab the corresponding month. Not so easy!
3. I say a festival/event, they grab the correct month! Difficult!

Finish - Time allowing I will play the chant once more, but usually just a quick hi-five on the way out.

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