Fun Games to Tackle Radicals

As we discussed in a previous post, teaching our children Chinese radicals is important for remembering and guessing the meaning or pronunciation of a character. This post focuses on fun activities to either help your kids identify or recognize the radicals within characters.

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

Learning about radicals may seem like a hard or boring activity. However, if we could treat it like looking for clues in a scavenger hunt or treasure map, it will be a lot more fun for our children. Here are two fun games for you to try with your children.


Radical BINGO Activity (age 3+, single or multiple players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 
  • Sheets of paper
  • Study Cards (optional)
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Tokens (eg: coins, buttons, stones, chips, etc.)
 HOW TO PREPARE 
  • Make a grid of 3x3 up to 5x5 (like a BINGO card) (multiple sheets)
  • Pull out or write 10-15 radical word cards
  • Fill in the grid with a variety of characters that pair with the 10-15 radical cards (different characters or arrangement for each sheet)
  • Put the 10-15 radical cards in a bowl or mix them up.

We have created some sample sheets and radical cards which are not included in the Study Cards. Please feel free to click and download:

Most of the common radicals can be found in the Study Cards: 馬/女/人/口/水/木/手/心/刀/山/十/門/日...

 HOW TO PLAY 
  1. Have each player choose a BINGO sheet
  2. Pull out a radical from the bowl or deck.
  3. Say the radical out loud (or, for a harder version, have your child read it)
  4. Each player will look at their BINGO sheet and look for character(s) that have the radical and place a token on the character(s).
  5. First person to place a token on every square (or have a full vertical/horizontal/diagonal row) wins.

 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. Using a bigger or smaller grid
  2. Using radicals that look different as a character (eg: 人/亻, 手/扌,心/忄,川/巛,火/灬) versus as a radical.
  3. Using characters that on first glance could have several radical options (eg: 好, 字, 古)
  4. If your children are really young, you may want to use only the easiest radicals (eg: 口,手,目,人).

Below is a video showing how to play Radical Bingo.


Sorting Radicals Activity 2 (age 3+, single or multi players)

 WHAT YOU NEED 
  • (optional) Flash cards (either your own, or you can try the new Sagebooks Study Cards)
  • (optional) sheets of paper
  • String, sticks, pencils

 HOW TO PREPARE 
  • Pull out and place 3-5 radical cards and place in a line.
  • Pull out or write 3-5 character cards that have that radical
  • Mix all the character cards
 HOW TO PLAY 
  1. Have the first player choose a character card and then place it with the appropriate radical.
  2. Either have the child continue until they’re done matching or take turns with other players.

 ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO PLAY 

Depending on the age of your child, you can increase or decrease the difficulty level of the activity by:

  1. Using radicals that look different as a character (eg: 人/亻, 手/扌,心/忄,川/巛,火/灬) versus as a radical
  2. Using characters that on first glance could have several radical options (eg: 好, 字, 古)
  3. If your children are really young, you may want to use only the easiest radicals (eg: 口,手,目,人)
  4. Having the children compete who can sort the fastest or who see if they can beat a previous time.

Below is a video showing how to play the Sorting Radicals game.

We would love to hear your comments and see pictures of your kids doing the activities. Make sure you join our Sagebooks HK Parent Support Facebook Group and share with us!

TIP OF THE WEEK

Make do with what you have.

Sometimes we as parents get a little carried away with acquiring all the books or games or activities because we conflate owning something with actually using it. We also falsely equivocate buying something educating our children.

Yes, there will be times you graduate to more advanced materials or find that you really so need supplemental books. But oftentimes we just need to use what we already own.

Have these tips been helpful? We’d love to hear from you in our Facebook Group and we hope to see you there.

 

Posted in 家庭教學實錄 Learning Journal and tagged , , .