Using ‘Rokunin no Tomodachi’ readers:7 Book 3 ‘Jouba Kurabu de’


Hi Everyone!

Today some teaching ideas for using Book 3.

But first, a reminder: the vocabulary lists for all four books in Series 1 are on Language Perfect, so, if your students are subscribed to Language Perfect, you can use them as a vocabulary-learning exercise.

The CD with the song and all four stories is getting closer—will keep you posted.

Suggested lesson sequence for ‘Jouba Kurabu de’—outline

1.      Scan the story, picture by picture, without reference to the text. Listen to the story (CD); read the story.

2.       Language structures and vocabulary of the story—1. Discussion and explanation of Katakana words. Overview of language structures.

3.       Dramatic interpretation of the characters in this story.

4.       Dramatic interpretation of the characters (cont’d).

5.       Cultural research—horses in Japan and Australia.

6.       Cultural research—horse riding in Japan and Australia

7.       Explanation and practice of language structures—2

8.       Explanation and practice of language structures—3.

9.       Cultural research—Udon

10.     Creative  activity—poster of horse gaits and riding lesson instructions




Scan, listen to, read the story (1 hour). Students work in pairs or small groups.

You will need:

Worksheet 7

A4 cards

  1. Scan the story (approx. 8 minutes). Students go through the story, picture by picture, without reading the text, and answer the questions on Worksheet 7.
  2. Play the story on the CD. The first time through, students listen and follow the pictures. Then play the story through again. This time the students follow the script and repeat after CD, sentence by sentence. (27 minutes if you include the vocab. List).
  3. Divide the vocabulary list evenly among the students and have each student make an illustrated, colour, A4 flashcard for each of his/her assigned vocab. items.
  4. Each student writes a sentence in Japanese, using those words or phrases, to go on the back of the flashcard.
  5. Students complete Reading Comprehension (P 30), Question 1.




Review language and structures (1 hour)

You will need:

Vocabulary flashcards made in Lesson 1

  1. Using the flashcards made in Lesson 1, review the language and structures featured in the story. (15 minutes)
  2. Discussion and explanation of how to read the Katakana words. (Not how to read Katakana, but how to pronounce the words using the furigana, and then how to recognise the English word represented in the Katakana.)
  3. Complete Reading Comprehension Questions 2, 3 and 4.


Dramatic interpretation of the characters in this story: 1

The preparation (1 hour)


Divide the class into 7 groups. Each group will study one of the characters as s/he is depicted in this story. They are to identify as many character traits as possible and then decide, as a group, how they can best portray their character in a brief sketch. They should choose one of the scenes in which their character appears and act out that scene, giving as much information as possible about their character’s personality. They could use or adapt the Japanese dialogue from the book, using their actions to convey the finer points of meaning. The students do not yet have the language to talk about feelings or emotions in Japanese and yet we want them to begin to walk in their character’s shoes. They should be prepared to answer questions in English about their feelings and/or emotional state at various points in their presentation, so you, as the teacher, should have some questions prepared (in English) to elicit this information from the students. Groups could be assigned characters, and the relevant pages to study as follows:

Group1: Riki. Pages 5, 8, 11, 18, 23, 24.

Group 2: Kenta. Pages 6, 15, 18.

Group 3: Emi. Pages 6. 9. 13, 14, 15, 20, 22.

Group 4: Liam. Pages 7, 11, 12, 17, 23, 24, 27, 29.

Group 5: Anna. Pages 10, 13, 14, 20, 22.

Group 6: Kazuki. Pages 12, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27.

Group 7: Ai. Page 26.


Dramatic interpretation of the characters in this story: 2

The performances (1 hour)

  1. Students perform their drama sketches and answer questions about their character’s feelings.
  2. Students each write a character study of their assigned character, including as much detail as possible.
  3. Students complete Reading Comprehension Creative Task on Page 31.


Cultural research

Horses in Australia and Japan (1 hour)

You will need:

Worksheet 8

Internet access

Students work in pairs to complete Worksheet 8.

The aim of this research is to encourage students to cross between cultures—the horse culture in Australia and that in Japan.  The history of the different horse breeds in Japan and Australia—how they developed and how they have been used within each culture—should help students gain some understanding of the different attitudes toward and popularity of the sport of horse riding in each country.

The information required to complete this worksheet is available on the internet.

I also recommend a book by Pamela Rushby: ‘The Horses Didn’t Come Home’

Angus & Robertson An imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. This is a very readable story of a young soldier and his horse in the Battle of Beersheba. It gives a human view of the role played by the Walers in our history.

That’s it for today. I will post lesson plans for the rest of Book 3 next time.