This game is derived from a classic Japanese children's game of the same name. In this description of the game, animals will be used as the target vocabulary, though the game can be used equally well for colours, foods, sports, etc.
All students are assigned a different target vocabulary. For example, in this case, we have cats, elephants, lions, birds, etc. Students may have a card with their word, or remember their word.
- Students sit in a circle on chairs. One person (can be the ALT initially) stands in the middle.
- The person in the middle calls a random target vocabulary word. For example, "birds!"
- All those who have been assigned that word (bird) have to stand up and change seats, and cannot move to the seat beside them. The last person to sit down becomes the person in the middle for the next round.
- The person in the middle may also call out a category. For example, calling out "big animals!" means all those who are an elephant or lion must stand up and change seats.
- Game continues in this way.
- If the person in the middle calls out "fruit basket!" all players must change. This can be changed to a relavent word, for example, in the case the person could say "zoo!"
To make the game more difficult, you can remove chairs after each turn.