- Keywords: Writing, imaginative, creative thinking
- Learner English level: Intermediate
- Learner maturity: University
- Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
- Activity time: 90 minutes
- Materials: Printout of Doraemon’s objects, whiteboard and markers
Anime is an interesting teaching tool for ESL teachers. Many students can identify with anime and are motivated to learn more when it is used as a medium of instruction. This activity enables students to use their knowledge about Doraemon’s gadgets and convey it in English. It aims to enhance students’ ability to describe and write creatively. Furthermore, it helps them to review descriptive paragraph writing and can be used to review specific grammar.
Print out Doraemon’s gadgets from the Doraemon.com or the TV Asahi website. You may wish to ask a colleague to help in understanding each gadget, as TV Asahi is in Japanese. Most students will know at least a few of these gadgets since Doraemon is so popular. Cut out the gadget pictures and put them in a small paper bag or box.
Step 1: Ask students to work in groups of three. Each group takes one picture from the box. Next, check if the students know their gadget. If not, have them change it or tell them what it is.
Step 2: Tell the students to discuss with their group members about their gadget picture and how it is used in the Doraemon series. Give ten minutes to brainstorm.
Step 3: Get students to make a list of descriptive adjectives and things they would like to describe about the gadget. Remind them to use their five senses. In addition, let them know you will do a quiz where each group’s written paragraph will be read, and other groups will guess the gadget. Each group whose gadget is recognized by the other groups will get 5 points.
Step 4: Tell the students they will write their paragraph on the whiteboard without writing the name of the gadget.
Step 5: Once all groups have finished writing their paragraph, ask each team to display their whiteboards and form a circle in order to be able to do a gallery walk.
Step 6: Ask each group to read the paragraphs of the other groups and, after discussing with their groups, write down what gadget they think it might be. Students can also mark the grammatical errors on the whiteboard and write down the number of errors.
Step 7: Once all the groups have read each other’s paragraphs, do the quiz as explained in Step 3.
Make playing card-sized gadget cards. Students could play a group game in which they choose an object card, and the other members have to guess the object first to get the card. The student that gets the most cards wins.
This activity can also be used for high school students to practise modals of ability. Students can work in pairs, write a few sentences describing their gadget, and then present it to the class.
This activity challenges students to describe clearly and enhance their writing skills in a fun and creative way. It encourages students to use new vocabulary and adjectives. It is also an engaging activity that enables students to share and learn the process of writing in order to appeal to their readers.
Fujio, F., Ms. (n.d.). Doraemon’s secret gadget catalogue. TV Asahi. https://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/doraemon/tool/a.html
Viz Media. (April 11, 2013). Gadgets. Doraemon Gadget Cat from the Future Official U.S. Website. http://www.doraemon.com/gadgets.html