New Year Karuta!

This includes cards and card descriptions for traditions around the New Year (and a couple general winter activities).

This activity can be used for multiple age groups, but specifically uses relative pronouns in the descriptions to align with the NH3 curriculum around this time of the year!

- Karuta cards
- Card desciption
- Powerpoint and computer/projector to display it (not necessary, but helpful)

Print, laminate and cut cards
Print description for you and your co-teacher (remember to fill in the zodiac of the year!)
Connect your computer/tablet to your classroom display

1. Divide students into groups of 5-6 and have them spread the cards on the table. Instruct them not to look on the reverse side of the cards that have points on the back.

  1. All of the students I've worked with have been familiar with karuta. However, if for some reason they aren't, explain that you will read a description and the goal is to be the fastest person to take the card that matches the description. I also like to add the rule that students must keep their hands on their heads until I say "3, 2, 1, Go!" and students can take the card on 'Go!' If there is a tie, have the students janken to decide who gets the card.

  2. Once the rules are clear, start reading off the hints! Check that each group has taken their cards then display the answer slide on the screen. If there's a lot of side chatter, I find loudly starting to read the next hint makes them quiet down pretty quickly.

  3. Once you've finished the last card, have the students flip their cards over and total up their points. Playing with the points isn't necessary, but adds a fun twist to the traditional karuta they're used to.

  4. Award stickers or your prize of choice to the winners :)

Small files
  • 3年 New Year karuta card descriptions.docx (18.1 KB)
  • New Years かるた answers.pptx (154 KB)
  • Medium files (requires an account to download) -
  • New Years Karuta.pptx (1.7 MB)
  • 24
    Submitted by iamqualified December 26, 2022 Estimated time: 15 minutes
    1. Rilakkuman January 10, 2023

      I really like the idea of adding points to the back of the cards. Thank you.

    2. vaudeville January 10, 2024

      Nice clean design. In my pre-game preamble, I went through the cards on a big TV screen and got the class to quickly brainstorm single key words related to the pictures, eg food, bamboo, face, etc. And put selected ones on the board. This really gave the weaker students a chance to get cards and not get overwhelmed by the longer sentences containing language they may’ve forgotten. It worked a treat. Really appreciate the effort you put in to make this. It will be a January staple for years to come.

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