Classroom Resources

Songs and Hand Actions

Level: Primary

1. Children songs with actions

Students can learn Japanese songs and vocabulary more easily if there are actions to go with the words. These 5 songs all have special actions to reinforce the meaning of the words.

(1) Higejiichan (Old Man with a Beard)


(2) Hajimaru yo


You may change おひざ to other parts of the body eg. あたま to expand the chant, and finish with おひざ

(3) Musunde Hiraite


You can try replacing “ue ni” with したに、 かおに、 あたまに etc.

(4) Kyabetsu no naka kara aomushi deta yo (A Caterpillar Came out of the Cabbage)

This song can be used to introduce/practise words for family members.


(5) Otoosan Yubi

This song introduces family members and greetings to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’.


2. Handshake challenge

Students learn to use a Japanese version of a high-five handshake popularised by a TV commercial.

primary version

secondary version