Classroom Resources

Ideas for Using Flash Cards

A: For kanji recognition

Suggested games:

1. On the buses

Teams of students sit on chairs in rows. The teacher stands in front and flashes a card. Students in the front row stand if they know the word, and the first student to stand answers. If the answer is correct they gain a point for their team and if it is incorrect the team loses a point. Then the students in the front row go to the back, the other rows move forward and the game continues. Alternatively, students can stand in rows and the first student in the front row to call out the correct answer wins a point for their team.

2. Romper Room

A set of the flash cards is placed on the blackboard ledge. Students close their eyes while the teacher takes one or two of the cards away. The students must then identify the missing cards.

3. Bus stop

Starting at one end of the classroom, two students stand up. The teacher flashes a card, and the students compete to say the word first. The first student to say it remains standing, the other student sits down and another student stands up or ‘gets on the bus’. The winner is the student who ‘remains on the bus’ for the longest time.

4. Snap/grab/karuta

Groups of students spread out sets of cards face up, the teacher calls out a card and the students try to grab it. The student with the most cards wins.

5. Match the cards, concentration/memory

Students in groups each with two sets of cards spread the cards out and try to match them, or turn the cars over and play concentration. (For group card games teachers might make card sets of smaller copies of the flash cards.)

B: For making compound words

Certain cards can be used to make compound words eg. 名前、学校 . Kanji flash cards can be combined with hiragana flash cards to make words like お金、お母さん、見て etc., and recognition or completion games can be played.

C: For writing

The cards can be used as writing models for the students to copy.

D: For sentence making

Students can make sentences using the kanji, orally or in writing.