First Letter Phonics

Students play Karuta to help them understand the way letters work.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Jesse Noble on Sep 9, 2009.


  • Alphabet cards (about six sets). Sixth graders will have these in the back of their Eigo Noto textbooks.
  • A list of words to be said, and picture flashcards of said words.


  • The basis of the game is just like Karuta, and best done over two rounds.
  • Before starting the game, ask the students what English sounds like to them. Say some words they know and ask if it sounds like English. Next, spit out a bunch of random letters, and ask if it sounds like English. (optional)
  • Get the students into groups of 4-6 and have them set up to play Karuta.
  • Say a set of words all beginning with the same letter, (, city, car, can).
  • After the first round is over, determine the ranking for each group, and rearrange the groups, so all the 1st place winners get into one group and all the second place winners get into another group, and so on.
  • Play again, with a different letter order and maybe some different words.


  • Use the ending sound of words instead: B (bag, dog, bug), O (go, hello), etc.


  • Since the students will collect the cards, make sure to start with easier words. That is to say, make sure the letter C is gone before you say the word "sea".
  • Use simple words and words they know.
  • A sound differentation game may serve as a good prerequisite to this game.


  • The 6th grade teachers are very likely to say that this will be too hard for the students, but as long as the kids know the alphabet, there really shouldn't be much of a problem. It is always worth a try!
  • Be prepared for loud kids.
Submitted by Englipedia Archive November 13, 2019 Estimated time: 20-30 min

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