【Japan, Saitama Prefecture】Autonomous Club Activities to Enjoy with Everyone

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Other languages :     Arabic

Handicraft club (making small articles)

Experimental Club (paper airplane experiments)

In Japanese primary schools, students with common interests and concerns form groups and engage in handicrafts, experiments, sports, music or other activities during "club activities”. These "club activities" are run autonomously by the students.
In regular learning situations, the students who were not good at public speaking or organizing showed different behavior during "club activities”. For example, they suggested fun things for everyone, encouraging others, and taking on leadership roles.

   Target grades:

   Activity Category:   


4th, 5th and 6th grade

Club activities (17 hours per year for our school; ideally 20 hours per year)


  • To build relationships in different age groups, which are different from fixed class groups.
  • To recognize the goodness in ourselves and others, and recognize each other.
  • To act voluntarily.
  • To improve the sense of social participation through the pursuit of common interests and concerns.

Prepared teaching materials, necessary equipment, etc.

  • Worksheets (annual plan, self-evaluation sheet)
  • Message card corner

Implementation Procedure

①   Encounters: Determining types of club activities

(1) (Implemented in the second semester of the previous year) Club activities target grades 4 through 6 of primary school. Therefore, in order for grade 3 students who will participate in club activities from the following year to learn about "what they do in club activities," time was set in the previous year for them to observe and experience club activities (about 1 hour).

Observation of club activities by 3rd graders
(Photography Experiment Club: Bubble Fountain Experiment)

(2) (Early this year) Students in grades 4 through 6 of primary school discussed at the beginning of the school year and decided on the types of clubs and which clubs they would participate in. In doing so, the conditions for establishing a club (e.g., minimum number of each club) and the results of a questionnaire survey of the students (e.g., club activities desired by the students) were taken into consideration.

In addition, one or more teachers were assigned to each club as the person in charge. The characteristics of the teacher were taken into consideration (e.g., a teacher who is good at music is in charge of the music club, etc.). The role of the teacher was to give advice to the students on how to proceed with club activities in an autonomous manner.

These activities were implemented with the goal of freeing the students from the fixed class group, allowing them to meet new friends of different ages, and allowing them to meet clubs where they can pursue their "common interests" with a desire "I want to do it!” and to find a club where they can pursue their common interests.

Development of club goals

The students developed together on "Everyone's Goals" for the activities of the clubs they belong to. For example, in the sports club, they decided to "play games that everyone can get along with each other”. This goal was kept in mind while discussing, planning and reviewing of activities, e.g., what does "everyone" means, what does "getting along" means in the activities?

③ Organization and planning

Club's all activities were planned by everyone and to everyone having leadership experience. In doing so, the planning team, consisting of about two representatives from each of the 4th and 5th grades in addition to the 6th grade club leader and vice club leader, took the lead. In addition, the responsibilities of each member of the planning team were clarified.

Annual plan (objectives, activities, and planning team members)

Creating activities for enjoyment: Devising for each activity

While following "Everyone's Goals", the planning team led discussions on how to make each activity more enjoyable for everyone. In addition, if there were any problems, the students discussed and solved them each time. As a result, the following innovations were found.
1) Don't team up with the same people every time, and make teams that allow interaction with many different age groups of friends.
(2) In football, to make sure that even those who are not good at the game can enjoy the game, strategy time is set aside, and the score is doubled if a goal is scored by someone who is not good at the game.

Students discussing and devising rules (Sports Club: Dodgeball)

⑤ Evaluation: message cards to friends, teacher’s feedback, self-evaluation

Message cards to friends: In order to recognize each other's good qualities, students wrote their friends' good qualities on message cards after the activity, which were shared and posted.

Self-assessment: Students completed self-assessments at the end of the semester.

Teacher’s Feedback: Teachers provided feedback to each student at the end of the semester, referring to the students' behavior and self-evaluations (sentences valuing facts) during the club activities.

From the author

  • The students will be rewarded if they communicate the results of their club activities to the school, community, and parents by holding presentations and displaying their works.
  • It is desirable that the activities not be completely self-governing, but rather autonomous, with appropriate guidance from teachers, including safety considerations.


Thank you and good luck cards. See URL below.

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