The songs in this section are ones the students just love and will ask for over and over. Everyone has a different teaching style. These songs are quite energetic. If you like a really quiet classroom, then different songs may suit your teaching style more. If you love to sing, see others enjoy singing and have lots of energy, then these songs are fantastic.
A little bit about the songs……..
1. ‘Genkotsuyama no Tanukisan’ is quite easy for students to learn. I have taught it to Prep classes. In saying that, my Year 6 and 7 students still love it. This version has 3 chances to play Jan-Ken-Pon, it is a perfect length and sounds great. You can teach the students to do a reaction to the outcome of their Jan-Ken-Pon.
- Katta !! Won !! Both arms up
- Maketa !! Lost …..Crying action
- Aiko ! Draw. Hands on hips
2. Oni no Pantsu (Monster Pants) is an all-time favourite. There are a few different versions. I love this one. It is actually to the tune of Ferniculi Funicular, the Italian song about a gondola. Many adults will recognise the tune and really enjoy the variation. Actions can be seen here too. Enjoy!!
3. Tontontonton Hige-jiisan is easy as well as educational and culture rich. 2 of the characters are Kobu-jiisan, the man from a famous monogatari (fairytale) called Kobutori-jiisan. I havemade a kamishibai of this book, also an eBook of it for the projector. After we read the story together, we learn the song, giving it more meaning. The other famous character is Tengu, a mythical creature with a long nose. There are many activities associated with Tengu-san also.
This version adds some other actions, however you will get the general idea.
4. Aburahamu no Ko (Abraham’s Children) is a very energetic song. Great for cold days, end of days, depending on the class, even at the start of a lesson to get all their fidgeting done and then settle afterwards. Abraham has 7 children. One is tall and the others short, they all live happily and love dancing (well, that’s the condensed version anyway)
You can get some good YouTube versions and I have some on DVD with actions, however the song on the site here is the one the students like the best. Just the voice, tempo and music seem to work the best.Each new body part that is introduced, gets moved. At the start it is just Migi-te (right hand) so this is all you move. Like a gentle flapping of a wing on your body (see, you’re getting excited about doing this already aren’t you!) Then Hidari-te (left hand), both wings flapping. Migi-ashi (right foot), feet hip-width, bending your right knee and taking it out from your body. Hidari-ashi (left leg) , both knees bending now like a squat in time with the music. Atama (head) gentle head-banging kind of action. O-shiri (bottom), cute wiggle. Mawatte (turn around), this is where students can get a little silly, just be clear about how much they can move. Last of all, O-shimai (the end) we take a bow and then sit ready for the next activity.
You need to make your expectations clear about movement, touching other students, furniture, jumping around and so on, however you can have such fun and positive experiences with this song.I also mirror the class, so when it is Migi-te I actually do my left hand as they tend to just do whatever side you do.
5. Shiawase nara te o tatakou (If you’re happy and you know it). A fun song. Quite fast sothey won’t get all the lyrics at the start, however will join in happily with the actions. At the end because you repeat all the actions already done, the students feel a bit of an achievement if they have followed everything
6. Obentoubako No Uta (The Lunchbox Song). This has tricky actions and words that the students are not familiar with, however is fantastic for Food Units. There is a PDF of the actions available.
7. Mori No Kuma-san (The Bear from the Forest) is one where you (or the CD) sing, then the class repeats. For classes with an intermediate level of Japanese, it is a lot of fun. For Senior Classes, who will understand the meaning, it is fantastic for plain form as well as vocab.
I have not ever done it with a school choir; however this song with a drama group acting the song out would be fabulous as a performance.
8. Inu no Omawari-san; The Doggy Policeman is a very well-known Japanese song. The version here is excellent as it goes nice and slowly on the part that is a little tricky. We do this one at school with the actions for Japanese sign language. Again, the students are so busy that they are very focussed; also it is helpful for remembering the words. When the whole class is doing the cat ears and dog ears, it doesn’t matter how many times you have seen it, it is heart-warming to see!
9. Do-re-mi Song is a fantastic version and not too hard. There is just one small problem…..most students have not seen ‘The Sound of Music’ and have no idea what the song is about or represent
s! A great song for class, also for choir and performances. The Do-re-mi sounds are used extensively in Japanese music also.
This YouTube clip has all the words and is a lot of fun to try and follow……がんばってね！！
10. Basu Gokko is about a tourist bus in Japan. I find it hilarious; the voices and sound effects. I have only done it with Junior School so far. We made bus lines and acted the song out. It is great for listening to language and enjoying the sounds if you have a class that is quite settled.
Here is some fun songs either to introduce a lesson in an up-beat way or when you are studying food.
This one is up-beat and fun. It is the ending song of the drama Marumo no okite….about a businessman who becomes the guardian of his friend’s twin children… everything changed after the kids found a talking dog…