Creative Ways to Use Paper Fortune Tellers

I remember my sister making these paper fortune tellers for us on a boring car rides or lazy days at home. They were always really fun to play with, especially if someone wrote some crazy things on the inside. That’s why it occurred to me that these paper fortune tellers could be used to help students practice English.


There are many ways to go about it. One is to go the traditional route and write simple fortunes like “You’re lucky!” or “You will be rich” on the inside flaps and go nuts with it in the hallways or after school.


The second approach is to write some easy English questions on the inside and use them to start conversations with students.

Now, let me tell you about where I’ve used these.

1. Before Class

Is it just me or is it always incredibly awkward to go up to shy students and try to spark a conversation that’s never meant to be? Now, if I bring one of these along I can easily approach students, using the strange origami things in my hands as an ice breaker.

2. During Class

I made 15 of these with questions inside the flap that all focused on the same sentence, “What’s your favorite~?” We taught the students how to use them and then let them walk around using the fortune teller as an interviewing device. We found that it was more fun if students handed off the fortune teller after each conversation, so that everyone got a chance to use it.

3. After school and during lunch break

Same as before class, it’s a lot easier to talk with students when students are distracted by this origami thing in your hands from all the pressure and anxiety of speaking English. I also found that the strange appearance of the fortune teller evoked was only matched by the strange curiosity students had for what it was.

Well, that’s it for this idea. If you want to know how to make one of these, please search “paper fortune tellers.” Using these fortune tellers students can brush up on English in more ways than one. Perhaps you’ll be surprised to find out how many of your students need to review the names of numbers and colors. Luckily, the intro of this game requires them to use them.

Interactive English Walls

Write Your Idea Wall

Another English wall experiment. This time I added an explanation in Japanese and a task: “If you were at this American restaurant, what would you order?”

Using the pink boxes below each picture, students mark their choices. Ultimately, we will be able to see which dish is the most popular among students at our school.

English Wall Idea

This is a picture of one of the other teachers at my school participating in the English wall activity. I think it’s good for students to see teachers outside the English department trying out English, so I try to encourage them to check out the English wall when they have time.