Class Ideas

Let's get to know Mikio!

Author:Junko Nichols

Topic/Goals:Body and Health、Communication、Link with Outside of Classroom、Spare Time and Sports


Font size+Large ±Reset
  • print

Mikio Ikeda is an athlete who is training hard for the Paralympics. Students will read the text and watch the video of his training, and learn Mikio’s disability, challenges, dreams and goals. Using their knowledge about Mikio, students will participate in a hot seating activity to gain deeper levels of understanding of the text.


• Learn about sports for people with disabilities and about Paralympians, with related vocabulary and language.
• Understand the text at a deeper level through a drama technique called “hot seating.”

Target Adult learners (appropriate for secondary students as well)
Japanese Level Intermediate
What to prepare


1. Show the head shot photo of Mikio and ask learners what their impression of him is from the photo. What kind of person do you think he is? (Some answered "energetic,""positive," and "friendly")

2. Show the full figure photo and ask learners what they notice.

3. Introduce key words.

4. Watch the video of Mikio

5. Learners read the first half of the text by themselves.

6. Pair work: Read and work on the reading comprehension task.

7. Pair work: If you had an opportunity to interview Mikio's parents, what would you ask them? Present some ideas to the class.

8. One of the students becomes a parent of Mikio and the rest ask him/her questions (If you have many students, this can be done in smaller groups).

9. Reflections following the interview.

10. Read the rest of the text and continue to work on the reading comprehension task.

Note Note

As the text is long, we divided the reading into two sections. Reading the rest of the text after the hot-seating activity, learners were more interested in Mikio's story. The hot seating activity can be also used after reading the whole text.

11. Brainstorm "My Dream" and write down some key words.

12. Write a letter to Mikio including a description of your own dream.

Note Note

1. Writing a letter to Mikio was prepared as a writing task aimed at improving learners' self-expression skills. Learners could also create their own speeches and present them or record them. It is also possible to run a "Making my dream come true" project by collecting learners' essays and creating a class booklet. Reading about their classmates' dreams and commenting on them could be another personalised activity using this text.
2. This writing task is set in such a way that the learners are describing their dreams to Ikeda san. It is important for the learners to think and write about their own dreams in their letters rather than just writing "I am sorry to hear that you have this hardship" or "good luck," etc. Describing their dreams also makes their work more individual and personalised.

Note Note

I adopted the "hot-seating" technique for this class because I wanted the learners to get close to Mikio. I thought that after taking the role of the father or the mother and asking questions of the person in that role, the members of the class would become more aware of and better understand Mikio's environment and feel closer to him. Everyone did feel a strong desire to support him as a result. Their understanding of what they read about him after that was much deeper. Everyone felt a strong desire to cheer Mikio on toward his goal of participating in the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
In this class, the fact that it was a true story heightened class members' feelings of support for Mikio in aiming to compete in the Paralympics. The figure of a real person who is doing his best to overcome adversity touches readers' emotions, pulling them into the story. The photographs and video of Mikio transmit many things, and these support readers' appreciation of the text and arouse their desire to gain deeper understanding of him. The attraction of Click Nippon is that it presents stories like this about real people.

Font size+Large ±Reset
  • print

Page Top