Genki English Review: What Time Is It?


A screen shot of the song “What time is it Mr. Wolf? from the Genki English software.

The What time is it, Mr. Wolf? song from Genki English  is my number one go-to for introducing the telling of time to children. This super catchy song starts off to an exciting marching beat which draws the children in and really gets them in the mood to sing. It’s such a sticky song that one class of 6-years-olds I taught it to last year are still singing it to themselves.

Below you can see Richard Graham, the creator of Genki English, teaching the song to several schools in Japan during his amazing demo classes.

Next, let’s take a look at the lyrics.

What time is it, Mr Wolf?
by Richard Graham

(ESL Review: During the first part of the song I hold up my arm parallel to the ground as if I were checking the time, and point to my wrist watch as I sing “What time is it?” to emphasize that this is about time. When I’m not wearing a watch, I draw one on with a board marker. It also helps to have a picture of a wolf to point or look at for the last part of this verse.)

What time is it?
What time is it?
What time is it?
What time is it, Mr Wolf?

(ESL Review: I do the next part a little differently from Richard Graham. I keep the children seated on the ground while counting off the time with their fingers. That’s because when they get to 11, we extend one leg outward and off the ground, and then at 12, both legs. This always gets a laugh out the children because it is a bit of a struggle not to fall over.) 

It’s 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock,
3 o’clock, 4 o’clock,
5 o’clock, 6 o’clock,
7 o’clock, 8 o’clock,
9 o’clock, 10 o’clock,
11 o’clock, 12 o’clock

(ESL Review: For the last part I pretended to be gobbling up my dinner with both hands to appear more “wolf-like”)

It’s dinner time!

Repeat x 2

And that’s that!

The song is to be found on CD 2 of the Genki English series. On the song page you can listen to a demo of the song and find the usual array of Genki English extras including: flash cards, mini-cards, a time worksheet, dominoes, snakes and ladders, a spaghetti game, islands game and imagination worksheet. There is also a printable progress guide and teacher’s guide with activity suggestions.

Time (Genki Mini cards)

The Genki English mini-cards are great for games of concentration. Just print them off, laminate them, and fun, fun, fun.

The real beauty is once the kids have learned the song you can go right into playing the classic children’s game, “What time is it Mr. Wolf?” (click here to read about it on the Genki English site).

In addition to that game,  I’ve been playing a variation of the monster game with kindergarten children. First I place the large flashcards around the classroom, semi-hidden, then all the students ask me together “What time is it?” I’ll say “It’s 1 o’clock” and the children have to scour the room looking for the 1 o’clock card. Following that we go through the rest of the 11 cards. It’s fun for the kids because with 20 kids searching the room it’s controlled chaos; they also get practice asking the question as well as listening practice listening to me answer. It’s simple but fun and effective.

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2 thoughts on “Genki English Review: What Time Is It?

  1. Pingback: Genki English Disco Warm Up Review | ESL Review

  2. Pingback: About Time – No, Not the Movie! | The ESL Review

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