From Godzilla to the Ring: An Overview of Japanese Film
Lesson 01: An Overview of US Film Genres

Submitted by Mike Smart


Students will...

  • demonstrate an understanding of popular movie genres in the US.


Language: Content Obligatory
Students will...

  • accurately use the following comparison expressions to describe their feelings about different movie genres. X yori Y no hou ga suki desu. (I like Y better than X) Y ga ichiban suki desu. (I like Y best)
  • accurately use the structure X to Y wa onaji gurai suki desu (I like X to Y equally) in discussing preferences among movie genres.
  • accurately use the structure Sumimasen. X mo Y mo dochimo suki ja arimasen (I’m sorry. I like neither X nor Y.) in discussing preferences among movie genres.
  • accurately use the following comparison expression to ask questions to classmates about different movie genres. X to Y to dochira no hou ga suki desu ka. (Which do you like better, X or Y?)

Language: Content Compatible
Students will...

  • accurately use aizuchi (support language) in reacting to student answers.

Learning Strategies / Social and Skills Development:
Students will...

  • work cooperatively in pairs and in groups. Each member will carry out his/her role as assigned.

Time Frame:

One 50-minute class

Materials Needed:

Survey handouts (see Attachments)
Vocabulary sheets (see Attachments)

Description of Assessment (Performance Project):

The teacher explains that the class is going to begin a two-week unit on US and Japanese film, that today will be an introduction to that unit, and that the class will be learning some of the constructions needed to talk about film.

The teacher writes the word eiga (film, movie) on the board and elicits vocabulary from students about the movie industry. It is not necessary at this time to create a comprehensive list, but at some point the instructor should focus on movie genres (horror, romance, comedy, etc.) and create a solid list in this one area.

Once the brainstorming session has run its course and the genre list is fleshed out, the teacher moves to a round of simple questions about likes and dislikes (e.g. Akushon no eiga ga suki desu ka?). Following this, the teacher moves to the first comparison structure X yori Y no hou ga suki desu. (I like Y better than X), and demonstrate how this works.

Once the students can answer questions using this structure, the teacher can move to focusing on the question structure X to Y to dochira no hou ga suki desu ka. (Which do you like better, X or Y?) Once this is done, the class is ready to begin the survey activity.

During task:
The teacher passes out the survey handouts, and asks students to brainstorm three film questions that use the comparison structure. Encourage creativity, but point out that the idea is to practice the comparison structure using the word “like” and to get some work with the different movie genres. While the students are writing, the teacher can monitor the competent, facilitate the confused, and shepherd the lost. After students have finished writing the questions, the teacher assigns pairs so students can check each other’s questions. Once that has been completed, the teacher models a question and answer interaction, and shows the students that they are to record their classmates’ answers on the survey sheets.

Students wander the room, asking survey questions and recording answers. The teacher monitors the activity.

Students return to their seats. The teacher asks students to share their findings by using the forms X yori Y no hou ga ninki ga arimasu. (Y is more popular than X.), and X to Y wa onaji gurai ninki ga arimasu. (X and Y are equally popular.). If there is time, this can be done in small groups before the information is shared as a class.

The teacher passes out the vocabulary sheets and second set of survey sheets. The teacher then explains the homework assignment for the following day. Each student will survey 10 or more non-Japanese students (in English) regarding their favorite movie genres and record the results on the second survey sheet.


The instructor can informally assess student performance when monitoring the activity. Further instruction can be given if students are struggling with specific objectives.

References and Resources:


NOTE: some attachments are in PDF form (get Acrobat Reader)

L1 Movie Survey handouts (for first activity)
L1 Movie Type Vocabulary
L1 Survey Homework