Matthew's Classroom

I have been teaching English to kids in Japan for more than 20 years: public elementary schools in Tokyo for 11 years, and Hello Kids Komazawa for the last 9. For 3 years I have been teaching weekly lessons to students at Tsutsujigaoka Kindergarten. As I tend to stay at the same workplace for a long time, I've been able to see the long-term results of my work. Being able to really see children's English communication ability grow has been very rewarding. I mainly use APRICOT materials in my classroom. They best suit my goal of having students use as much English as possible while developing confidence and self-esteem. I enjoy teaching development, and I love discussing English education with other teachers!
  • 20. “THIS IS ME” - WELCOME Yellow Activity Book page 2.

    matthew-0916-1yellow  イエローアクティビティー


    The objective of this page is for students to give a short presentation to their classmates using the English at the bottom: “My name is …….”, “My eyes are….” and “My hair is …..”


    Now perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve always found that this English presented together at one time is quite challenging for young kids – particularly if they’re in their first year of lessons, as many students on WELCOME Yellow are. It dawned on me recently though that this page needn’t be completed in one lesson(!) You can spend 10 minutes a lesson on each section of this page, and take perhaps 4 lessons to finish it.


    Lesson 1: “My hair is ….”

    Yes, that’s right; start at the bottom. This is because coloring a picture of hair is easier than writing a name.

    Students color the picture and the English “My hair is…” is introduced and practiced. (Incidentally, the Springboard Readers collection has an excellent book in Level 1 called “Hair” which can be used as supplementary material).

    springboard_1f Hair 1f_sample Hair



    Lesson 2: My eyes are…”

    Students color the picture and the English “My eyes are…” is introduced and practiced. (Incidentally, “Whose Shirt?” storybook from the Chants-de-Ehon Series has an excellent page activity on the last page where students match eyes with animals).

    Naturally, at this time, “My hair is…” can be reviewed. The students practice these two expressions together. This is an important step because combining “is” and “are” over two separate sentences can be fairly challenging.


    Lesson 3: “My name is….”

    Students write their name in the box. This in itself can be problematic, especially for very young kids in their first year and who just happen to have slightly long names…! Of course, “perfect writing” is not the objective here, and of course students can be assisted. An alternative to writing is that the teacher write students’ names on small paper, the students have to find their paper, and then glue it in the box.

    Naturally, at this time, “My hair is…” and “My eyes are…” can be reviewed. The students practice the three expressions together.


    Once the students have managed to say the three expressions together, the most difficult aspect of this page is overcome.


    Lesson 4: Students draw in the large box, and practice presentation.

    Students should be encouraged to draw more than just their face. The box is large, and the English says “This is me”. So pictures of things that students like – sports, food, animals etc. should also be included.








    All three sentences are reviewed.

    Presentations are practiced together, not individually.

    ⇒⇒⇒ Click for audio of a short group-practice.


    Lesson 5: Individual Presentations

    Of course, by the time students present in front of the class, none of the English that they say presents any new information to their classmates, but the experience of standing in front of the class and presenting their individual work in a loud voice is of utmost importance.     

    Interaction on students’ drawings in the large box should be done after each presentation.

    ⇒⇒⇒ Click for audio of presentations




    Page Top