Class Ideas

Let's write an e-mail using "emoji."

Author:Sachiko Omoto Renovich (Burnaby Mountain Secondary)

Topic/Goals:Communication、Comparison、ICT Literacy、Self, Family, and Friends、Social Life、Technology


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The activity highlights the pros and cons of cell phone use and introduces students to the use of emoticons with Japanese text messages.


Students will think about uses of cell phones and be able to describe the features available.
Students will also create a Japanese text message incorporating “emoji.”

Target Senior
Japanese Level beginner
What to prepare


  1. Ask students in the class to raise their hands if they have cell phones. Compare the class percentage to the national average.
    Reference: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - Chapter 1 Trends in ICT Access and Use
    Introduce the proliferation of cell phones worldwide and explain that the topic for the lesson will be on the use of cell phones in Japan.
  2. Have students work in pairs to think of activities people can do using cell phones and present their ideas to the class. (Think-Pair-Share)
    Students can use the potential form
  3. Show page 6 from Takarabako on the screen and highlight some of the things Japanese cell phones are now able to do.
  4. Explain that while cell phone features have become varied and useful, there are also negative aspects in cell phone use. Hand out the activity worksheet #1 and have students read through the statements about cell phones, drawing a smiley face if the statement is something good about cell phones (pros) and a sad face if it is something bad about cell phones (cons). Also have students draw stars beside features they use or would like to use. Check answers with the class.
  5. Introduce students to cell phone use in Japan by showing and explaining with Takarabako pp. 2 and 3, or by showing "Erin's Challenge! I Can Speak Japanese" DVD Vol. 2 Chapter 14 Cell Phones (Sections 「見てみよう」and「やってみよう」)
  6. Have students try making their own Japanese text messages using "emoji" using the activity worksheet #2.
    Here are some examples of the messages. (Word format) / (PDF format)

Extension Activity

Introduce students to information about things to consider in cell phone use, and have students debate about the pros and cons of cell phone use for high school students.

Note Reference:
「みんなのケータイ1&2」(Mobile Society Research Institute)

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