《Melissa’s English Class Vol.8》 What’s Your Fortune?


It’s time for second year junior high school students to learn the future tense!


In English, there are two ways to express the future: ‘I will’ or ‘I am going to’. ‘Going to’ is stronger and more resolute than ‘will’, but save for this nuance, the two are virtually interchangeable and they both allow you to express yourself in terms of the future.

英語では未来を表現する方法が2つあります。willを使う方法とbe going to を使う方法です。be going to のほうがwillより強く、意志が固いですが、こういったニュアンスはさておき、この2つは実質的には交換可能で、未来の視点で自分自身のことを表現できます。

To teach this lesson, I used fortunes. When my friends visit me in Japan, I always make sure they go to a shrine and draw their fortune because I think it is such a fun tradition!


While I can’t take the students to a shrine, I can bring the shrine (or at least a small part of it) to the classroom through fortunes. Drawing fortunes in Japan is very different than in America, so I showed the class images of traditional western fortune telling paraphernalia, including crystal balls and star signs, so that they could learn a little about my culture.


I encouraged them to be creative and imaginative as they wrote, and they were not disappointed. They learned a lot of vocabulary ranging from ‘poverty’ to ‘marriage’, and they came up with some really interesting things like ‘You will be a robot’ and ‘You will not eat food’ (so many questions… if you don’t eat food, what else can you eat? Unfortunately, the fortune did not specify an alternative source of sustenance). After they finished their fortunes, they had to fold them and put them inside the ‘Box of Fortune’.


At the end, students drew a fortune from the ‘Box of Fortune’ and read it in front of the class. This way, the lesson incorporated writing, reading and speaking. More importantly, all students were able to hear what their classmates had written, and they laughed out loud when someone got a ‘bad’ fortune.


The students were engaged, they discussed with each other what they could write, and they were excited about drawing fortunes. It was a lot of fun for all of us. I am looking forward to doing a similar lesson in the future!


Students listening and reacting to fortunes being read おみくじが発表されているのを聞いています。

A student thinks of what to write for her fortune. 何て書こうか考えています。

A student reads his fortune おみくじを引いて読んでいます。

Going over a student’s fortune おみくじ作りをチェック中

Discussing how to talk about the future in English 英語で未来をどう表現するか議論中