Clever Way to Practice Using “Can you~?”

It’s easy. Simply adapt the game of “go fish” and replace the question, “Do you have~?” with “Can you~?” Students will reply with a “Yes” or a “Yes, I can” if they have the card in question and vice versa. Same rules of “Go Fish” apply, unless you want to make up your own set of rules!

go fish card

example of one of the cards in the “can you~?” go fish game card deck

“Go Fish” has been a huge part of my curriculum this year especially because I have been able to play it in small groups of students were I can direct the game for students and encourage the use of “table talk” English as the game progresses. Never has it been easier to teach students important phrases like, “oh man!” or “Too bad!” or “That’s lucky!” There are a lot of other benefits that I will leave to you to discover. Now’s a great chance for you to start because first grade JHS students have either just learned or are about to learn about this important grammar point.

example card 2

the deck has 52 cards, 13 4-set pairs and uses 4 verbs: cook, play, eat and sing

I’m trying out the new set of cards using “Can” now because of this success. You can download a pdf of the cards template I made and start using them at your school. You’ll need to make 6 sets for a whole class (30 students in groups of 5-6) or you can just make one deck to play with kids during lunch break. Gluing the cards to a piece of construction paper is a good idea.

Get the free “Can you~?” Go Fish cards now (PDF version)

This pdf is 6 pages and one printing will give you the complete set of cards. You can also download the Hoyle card backs below to make your cards seem more realistic.

Hoyle Card Backs (PDF version)

Do you like this free material? Please support by sharing it with your friends on facebook!

Arashi Powerpoint

A lot of people wrote in and said they enjoyed the last powerpoint about teaching how to add “er” to adjectives, so I thought I’d share one more version for teaching “er” comparison adjective. This one is prepared by a different JTE I worked with in Yamagata City.

Level: JHS 2nd Grade

Time: 10 minutes or less

Powerpoint Presentation – Comparing using “er” adjectives – Click to download

Why this powerpoint is great

  • Short, simple and uses the appeal of a Japanese pop group to get students interested in the lesson
Download the powerpoint above and modify it for your purposes.

Teaching – “er” adjectives

Here’s another great powerpoint presentation. This time the powerpoint comes from a teacher I work with. It shows students how to make comparisons by attaching “er” to adjectives (e.g. bigger, taller, faster, etc.).

Time: about 15 or 20 minutes

Level: 2nd grade JHS

Which is stronger, Godzilla or King Kong?

In the book there is a pretty interesting story to work with involving King Kong and Godzilla. But I think this powerpoint can make this lesson more interactive and interesting for the students. Download the powerpoint below and check it out for yourself:

DOWNLOAD: Let’s Compare! – Powerpoint

Why this powerpoint is good 

  • It compares internationl landmarks, raising student awareness about the rest of the world
  • It is presented in a quiz-show style so students can enjoy the thrill of guessing and discovery
  • There is a section at the end where students can personalize the learning point by choosing between two things (e.g. math and English) and using the grammar to tell others about their preferences.


  • The powerpoint uses Japanese translations for all the sentences — something which may be helpful to students. I have a feeling, though, that given the right class, it could be done without it.

Teaching Directions with Ichiro Suzuki

Check out the instructional video on how to use this presentation then download the powerpoints below.


More Free Materials!

Click on the links to download the powerpoint and use it with your class! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Ichiros Bad Day – Powerpoint Presentation

Ichiros Bad Day – Shortened for reviewing the slideshow

Script for the first part of the presentation

UPDATE: Activity for after the presentation:

Partner Activity

This is a pair-work activity for consolidating the lesson. Students work together to write an original skit based off of the phrases learned in this lesson. After preparing the skit, students can memorize it and perform it in front of the ALT and JTE for a reward. Students have the choice of three preset locations, or they can create an original location for themselves.

UPDATE: Extra Tips for making this lesson succesful:

  • When teaching students the directions (‘go down this street’, etc.) encourage the students to use gestures. With the gestures and animation it is possible to teach this entire presentation with little reference to Japanese!!
  • Before students are asked to give Ichiro the directions to the stadium, give them 5 or 7 minutes to try to memorize the phrases on the screen. While they are memorizing the phrases, walk around and check on their progress. After the time is up get a few students to stand up and give the directions to Ichiro before the class gives the instructions together.