Guess the Doraemon character

Students read descriptions of Doraemon characters (who have different names in English) and try to guess what their original Japanese names are.

I made this activity to practice reading, but I was only able to practice it in one class, so it's a little simple. Feel free to adjust it however you like!

The idea behind this activity is that the evergreen animated show Doraemon was eventually adapted to English for distribution in the USA in 2014. The show is aimed at children, so they changed the character names (and probably other aspects of the show) to make it more culturally familiar for American children.

There are 6 cards that have one character name and a description. I split the class into six groups and gave each group one card. I also pass out the character list to each student in the class. The students should read the card in their groups, guess which character it is, and write that character's name on the character sheet. The descriptions might use language the students haven't learned yet, but there's enough information about each character to make it pretty obvious which is which. It's probably a good idea to practice the pronunciation of the English names of all 6 characters, since they're unfamiliar words.

The second part of the activity was to practice the skill of "retelling." I had the students in each group choose one student at a time to stand up and then tell another group about their character card. I told them that they couldn't bring the card with them, but that they could add any more information they wanted in English. The other group should listen and write their guess for the character name on the character sheet.

In the end, I checked with the class to make sure everyone had the correct characters. Some students already guessed 4 or 5 characters based on name resemblance alone, but they seemed to enjoy it nonetheless. Either to start off or to finish, you can try and show them an episode of Doraemon in English if you have the means. I found one by just searching for "Doraemon English" on Youtube, but that may or may not be relevant when you're reading this.

There's probably a lot of room to refine this activity, but I thought it was a fun idea so I thought I'd share it. Let me know if you give it a shot!


Doraemon character sheet.docx

Doraemon English character cards.docx

Total 1

Estimated time: 15-20 minutes

Submitted by: Jake W

March 09, 2020

UonumaRobert March 10, 2020

Nice. I've been using this theme as an introduction to 'They call him, ... in America' for third year classes. Students always get a kick out of the name changes. Especially Dorayaki which is called 'Yummy Buns' on the American show.

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