Students work on two tasks relating to kanji. In the first they look at how a stroke can be added to the kanji for “day” to form a new kanji. In the second, they form kanji compounds using cards.
How many kanji can you make by adding one stroke to the kanji 日(ひ)?
Hint: You can add the stroke inside or outside.
(Answers : 田 目 旦 旧 由 甲 申 白)
Task 2 – Find Compounds
How many 2-kanji compound words can you find in the chart below? Kanji compounds may be created by combining with kanji on the left, right, above, below or diagonally.
月日 This is read 「つきひ」 but in ‘date of birth’ it is read 「生年
女人 This is read 「にょにん」 and means ‘woman’, but there is no 「男人」.
分水This word refers to division of water, as in ‘watershed’, and is often used in place names.
生長(せいちょう) This word means ‘growth’ and is usually written 成長(せいちょう).
Kanji formed by two or more components, one representing the sound and another representing the meaning. The component which expresses the meaning of the kanji is called a 部首(radical). We will deal with these kanji in the next issue.
Task 4 – Kanji Maze
Make a grid like the one below. Students find their way to the exit by moving only to a kanji which has the same stroke number. Example maze:
Task 5 – Component Kanji
Some kanji may look complicated, but they can be divided into simpler components. For example,「語」looks quite complicated, but it is easier to remember if you break it up into 言 , 五 and 口. You may like to create more tasks such as the ones below.
Task 6 – Kanji Categories
Worksheet: Students put kanji into topic groups. They may use kanji cards or you may give them a chart such as the one below to fill in.
|人（people）||父 母 兄 姉 弟 妹|
|からだ（body parts）||口 目 耳 手 足 頭|
|すうじ（numbers）||一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九 十 百 千 万|
|きせつ（seasons）||春 夏 秋 冬|
Task 7 – Design with Kanji
Activity: Choose a topic and design a T-shirt or make kanji wrapping paper with kanji from a kanji group.
Task 8 – Kanji Dominoes
Students receive a set of Kanji Dominoes cards, and matching the kanji with its reading, they keep connecting them until the last word connects to the first word.
You may wish to look at the related resource “Kanji: Radicals”.
Origin of the characters for Kanji, Kanji word-building
Country names in Kanji
Resource created by Himiko Negishi-Wood (December 2005).