Left-Right or Up-Down

Overview: Students answer questions. The one that answers decides who can sit down. Really fun way to start a Japanese elementary school class and get them into the mood for English. It’s also good for reviewing things from the last lesson.

Set Up: This works if the student’s desks are in lines, like in most Japanese schools.

  • When the class starts, everyone stands up.
  • Ask the students a question and then pick someone with their hand up to answer.
  • If they answer correctly, ask them to pick ‘left and right’ or ‘up and down’.
  • If they pick ‘left and right’ the students on either side of them can sit down. If they pick ‘up and down’, the students in front and behind them can sit.
  • Continue until everyone is sitting.

Basic question examples:

  • What fruit do you like?
  • What animals do you like?
  • What did you have for breakfast?
  • Hows the weather?
  • How are you?


  • You can use different words, such as horizontal and vertical.
  • You can allow them to pick just left, right, up or down.
  • You can get the student who answered the question to ask you a question in turn.
  • You can let a student ask the questions if you have a class where that will work.




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