Karuta is a traditional Japanese game that can be adapted as a game to practice just about anything from maths to French, from science formulae to famous composers!

First of all review the material you want to practice and prepare some picture cards.  Ideally these should be large, colourful and LAMINATED! Laminating the cards means they can be used over and over again! Place the cards on the floor at one end of the room (or gymnasium!)

1. Split the class into maybe 4 or 5 groups.  They sit in lines at the opposite end of the room to the cards. The front child in each group stands up.

2. The teacher (or one of the kids!) asks a question. 

3. The front kid from each runs towards the cards.


4. They  slap down their hand on the card that shows the correct answer. The quickest child wins a point for their team!

4. All the kids who just ran rejoin the back of their team.  The new front kid from each team stands up.  Repeat from 2


You'll probably need a few more rules, such as pushing other people, or other violent aggression, results in minus 2 points! If 2 kids get the card at the same time, you can either give each team or point, try asking a tie-break question, or ask them to try the Paper, Scissors, Stone game!

Suitable questions could be

Basic ABCs.  The cards feature the letters, you simply shout out "B" or "D" or whatever
Basic numbers.  Write numbers on the cards. Shout out the numbers
Basic maths.  Again have numbers on the cards, but this time ask questions such as "What is 5+2?"
Word recognition.  Write words on the cards, shout out a word and let the kids choose the correct one
Foreign languages.  Have picture cards and shout out the word in the foreign language e.g. "Poisson"
History - have a series of dates, pictures of places or people and ask kids relevant questions e.g. "The person discovered the ..........."
Music - as above, try having pictures of composers or instruments, play a piece of music and they run to get the relevant card.  Or try making cards of key signatures and asking the kids to run and choose the correct one.
Science - Try writing down answers to formulae.  For example "what equals ma?"

Of course with a game like this the possibilities are endless.  It is particularly suitable for younger children, or to make a slightly less than interesting topic seem fun!

The game encourages team work as the kids will often work together and shout out the answer to the child in front!  




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