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Students compete in teams to be the first to reach the top of the house. Teams advance by answering questions correctly and also creating sentences about the rooms they pass through.

Suggested Pre-tasks

Teachers may wish to use “Cultural Note: Japanese House” to explain to the students about Japanese houses.

Cultural Notes Japanese House (Word 24KB)


Pieces of coloured paper are cut into squares and attached to Blu-Tack, to be used as markers.
ろうか cards are cut out and placed in a pile. Sample ろうかCards are given, but teachers may make their own cards to suit the needs of their students.


This game is similar to the ‘Snakes & Ladders’ board game. To involve the whole class, students compete in teams of 6. Teams take turns to throw the die and move markers accordingly. Which team will start can be decided by じゃんけん (Rock, scissors, paper). The player representing the team says the number out loud after throwing the die. To maintain students’ attention to the task, team participation is set up in the following way. Students in each team take a number from 1-6. Teams take turns to throw the die, and when a particular team has its turn, the member with the same number as the die must represent the team and give the required information.

When a team lands on a room, eg. げんかん , the player must say what is done in that room, eg. 「げんかんでくつをぬぎます。」 When a player lands on a corridor, ろうか, s/he must pick up a ろうか card, read the instructions out loud and follow the instructions. The player can consult with his/her team regarding responses. In the case of both kinds of square, if they succeed they stay where they are. If not, they move the marker back to the original place. If the player lands on a staircase, かいだん, s/he moves upstairs to the next space. The first team to finish is the winner. The exact number must be thrown. The game may continue until some or all contestants finish.

Teacher Talk

  • じゃんけんして(ください)-Play janken
  • さいころをふって(ください)-Throw the dice
  • げんかんでなにをしますか? -What do you do in the genkan?
  • ろうかカードをとって(ください)-Pick up a rooka card
  • もとにもどって(ください)-Go back

Teachers may also wish to use the resource: Expressions for Board Games

Expressions for Board Games (Word 19KB)

Variations For Biginner Level Learners

  1. When a team moves, they give the name of the place they land on, whether it be a room, ろうかor かいだん. Alternatively, if they land on a room they give the word for an object found in that room, eg. ふろば→ シャワー
  2. Simpler ろうか cards can be used, for example cards which have either a picture or word of a household object. (A selection of cards from Pre-task 2 could be used.) Contestants pick up a card and say or read out the word.
Board Game House (PDF 346KB)
Game Board House Large size (PDF 2075KB)

ろうかCards (PDF 106KB)

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