Matsuko Deluxe Birthday

Students compete in rows to score points for being the first team to relay celebrity birthdays back to the ALT.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Nicholas Hallsworth on Aug 09, 2011.

Detailed Explanation:

  • Split the class into rows and give each team a number or a name. I usually use country names like Team China, Team Brazil etc and use a small flag magnet on the board. Also split the board into 6 sections.
  • Place the 6 printouts at the back of the classroom behind the 6 rows. I have the last person in the row to put their table right at the back and they can just use their chair. That way you have somewhere to put the printouts.
  • The first player from each team comes to the front and huddles around the ALT. The ALT asks a question about a celebrity's birthday using the keyword from Lesson 3 of Eigo Note, for example, "When is your birthday, Matsuko Deluxe?"
  • The first player whispers the keyword to the second player and they pass the message on in turn to the last player. The last player goes to the printout and searches for Matsuko Deluxe's birthday: October 26.
  • The last player then passes the answer (October 26) to the person in front and they all pass the message along to the person at the front. The person at the front stands up and writes the answer (10/26) on the board in their team's board space.
  • The first team to complete gets a point. You can check all the answers on the board and then drill each answer after each round, "When's your birthday, Tanoshingo?"
  • So everyone gets a turn at being the person at the front and back, get them to move back one seat after every round.


  • Instead of getting them to write the answer on the board, the front player can just say it to the ALT. However, I found for this lesson it works better getting them to write it on the board so you have a record of all the answers at the end.
  • This game can be adapted for other topics and chapters. It also worked well for grade 5's 'How many'. I had a handout with loads of animals, pencils, eyes etc printed on it. The last player had to count the objects, for example "How many cats?" then pass the answer down to the front.
  • I also used it for a grade 2's color topic. We had colorful animals and I said an animal's name: dog. The answer was "purple and orange."

Teaching Suggestions:

I did this at the end of the lesson after we'd introduced and practiced the names of the month really well. It went something like this:

  • Introduce the names of the months.
  • Drill well and quiz the students.
  • Quiz using the disappearing flashcard game.
  • Practice using the December game. (Go round the class saying 1,2 or 3 months each. The person who says December has to stand up and answer two questions: "When is your birthday," and "What's XXX 'gatsu' in English?"


  • The activity is easy to understand if your demonstrate it. I didn't even need the HRT to translate the instructions.



Total 0

Estimated time: 15-30 min

Submitted by: Englipedia Archive

November 19, 2019


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