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Yabai : Introducing the Game


Hi there,


Our games are designed with simplicity in mind. Games that can be taught quickly and played multiple times within the same class. When designing the games we often talked about the idea that the games could, if necessary, be taught with almost no teacher talk time at all. However, we understand that our games are being used in many different teaching environments so here is a step by step guide on how to use Yabai as a full lesson plan introducing and pre-teaching everything in a solid scaffolding technique so that even lower level students can play the game. Fun every step of the way!

  • Introduce Supply card (pencil, eraser etc) vocabulary using with fun technique such as memory, go fish or karuta.         


Supply Card


  • Deal any number of cards out to a group of players and present a class card.  Have students then freely place cards with a symbol (the brain, cog or lightbulb) that matches the color on the class card. Do not worrying about the numeric value yet.  Players should draw a new supplies card each time they play one.


Class Card

  • Now present all values on the card as 2 (in other words the value of a strength symbol on a card is 2) and have them attempt to beat the lowest numbers as printed on the class cards.

  • Play open handed (so everyone can see all the cards) until players are more confident.

  • Now introduce the season card aspect of the game by handing out the tutorial card (downloadable):       


Yabai Training

  • This teaches the reading and cross referencing aspect of the game that is important before moving on.  Now players must reach within the designated number range for each colored aspect on the class card before moving on.



Season Card


  • Now introduce the information gap aspect of the game by showing the players the season cards. The players will now only have access to certain information. Players should understand the core mechanics of the game from this point. Begin play open handed and when the players gain enough confidence, switch to playing close handed. This adds to the game as students believe they are leveling up.         


  • Finally, add a 7-minute timer and have the players attempt to pass a certain number of class cards. Soon enough, players will be shouting the name of the game: YABAI! You have done it.

Final Note:  These steps can be skipped or introduced one at a time or all together, depending on the group and player level.  You can use Yabai as a quick 7-10-minute fluency activity or introduce the game, step by step, over a period of several weeks. It is that flexible. 



Printable Lesson Plan:




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<< Great New Word Games for the ESL / EFL Classroom
Spring is Here >>