The Fly Swatter Game or The Hae Tataki Game


A warm up activity for reviewing vocabulary or conjugations. A word is announced, and and students race to find it on the blackboard.

Materials Needed

  • Two flyswatters OR two rolled up newspapers
  • small cards with all the vocab you wish to review (optional, but saves class time)


Distribute the vocabulary cards amongst the students, and then instruct them to write the words on their cards on the blackboard. When they finish writing the words on the board, they should return the card to the teacher.

Divide the class into two teams.

Call for a volunteer from each team. Have the volunteers come to the front of the classroom and stand next to the blackboard. Give each volunteer a flyswatter/rolled up newspaper.

Then, call out a word on the board in Japanese. The volunteers have to find that word on the board, and hit it with their flyswatters/newspapers. The student who hits the word first wins a point for his team.

Call for a new pair of volunteers and repeat until you've covered all the material you wanted to. When you finish, tally the points, and announce the winning team.


Instead of calling out words in Japanese, you can describe them in simpler English. If you are using verbs in a certain tense, you can call out the verb in another tense. For example, if you are reviewing irregular past tense verbs, you could call out the present tense.

If calling out words in Japanese is a problem, ask your JTE for help.


Be careful when playing this game; it can lead to violence if you have rowdy students. Before beginning the game, it is often wise to give the students a few rules:

1.If you hit another student with the flyswatter, your team loses ALL of its points.

2.Hitting the board quickly is okay, but don't hit it too hard. If you hit it harder than you need to, you will lose points

3.Making mistakes is okay, but don't hit words randomly. If you hit every word on the board, even correct hits will be ignored, and you may lose points.