Yamanote Line

Students pound on their desks and while practicing various English target vocabulary.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Patrick Bickford / Aurora Tsai on Nov 9, 2007.


  • The Yamanote line is the light green train line in Tokyo that goes around in a circle. The goal of this game is for the students to ride the Yamanote line by saying various English words within a given target topic. It might help the students visualize the idea of riding the train by drawing the Yamanote line on the board. You can reference the second page of the attached Phonics worksheet for a visual aid.
  • Start the students off by having them pound two times on their desks followed by a 'fake clap', similar to the rhythm of Queen's We Will Rock You. A 'fake clap' is used because you need complete silence to hear the students say the pronunciation of the letters.
  • One student in each of the four corners of the classroom stands up and plays Janken. The loser starts first. The order of play is determined by the loser deciding if the next student will be in the horizontal (よこ) or vertical (たって) direction. Because the Yamanote line goes in a circle, the order of play should do the same. The order of play should wind around the class in a circle slowly working its way into the center area of the students.
  • The game starts by you/JTE giving the students a topic and them saying words within that topic. Let’s use ‘fruits’ as an example. Play starts by students starting a 'pound, pound, fake clap' rhythm on their desks. Count backwards from three and after one, the 'losing' student begins. The game might go something like this: 3, 2, 1, apple (pound pound) peach (pound pound) grape, etc.
  • The train continues until a mistake is made.
  • Once the students get the hang of the game, split the class into two teams and insert a batsu (punishment) into the game. Every time a mistake is made, that team receives a 'batsu point'. If a team receives 3 batsu points, the game stops and the entire team must do two laps around the team, while the other team pounds the rhythm.


  • Change topics when a mistake is made.

Aurora's contribution: If used for ES,

  • Arrange the flashcards on the chalkboard in a circular fashion so all the students can see them.
  • For the batsu, you could have the students sing one of the Eigo Noto chants they are already familiar with. Also, have all the students who mess up do the batsu game at the same time in order to avoid overembarrassment.



Total 0

Estimated time: 5-10 min

Submitted by: Englipedia Archive

November 25, 2019


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