Many Japanese speak English. But they do not think our thoughts. They worship at other shrines; profess another creed; observe a different code. They can no more be moved by Christian pacifism than wolves by the bleating of sheep. We have to deal with a people whose values are in many respects altogether different from our own.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

The Mission of Japan, 1937

Across The Table

Choice Card: Across The Table
children and up
2 minutes
Class Size:
Small group
Energy Level:
Flashcards, table

AIM: To create a chain of flashcards from one end of the table to the other.

procedure: Select enough flashcards so that if they are laid out next to each other they can stretch the length of the table. Include some familiar items but the focus is on new vocabulary. Shuffle the cards. Set a timer for 2 minutes and start by showing the top card. If anyone can name the card place it face up at the edge of the table. Continue with subsequent cards laying them next to each other to create a chain of cards. If no-one can name a card say the answer, gather all the cards on the table and shuffle them back into the pack. Can the group make a chain across the table before the time runs out?

Variation: With more able speakers get them to make a sentence including the target word. Perhaps increase the time limit by a minute to accommodate the extra speaking time.


If the players get close to naming a card, give the answer and cut the card into those remaining but leave the cards got on the table. Only gather the cards when the group don't know, are not close or are taking too long to come up with an answer.

Use the same set of cards until the group actually makes it across the table or time has run out

The game should be played at a fast pace. Usually used for review or as a time-filler rather than a whole activity in its own right.