漢字練習ノート・小学２年生 • Kanji Practice Notebook Grade 2
Inspired by the upcoming Kanken test in June I went looking for some Kanji texts in JP Books yesterday. This workbook is one of the two books I bought. It is a companion volume to a more comprehensive yet small book 漢字の本2年生
As I wanted to use it more for revision I decided to skip the main book and just use the workbook. Also the main text being entirely in Japanese (as is the workbook by the way) needed more concentration than I really wanted to give to it. However I think once you reach a certain level it’s very useful and satisfying to work in an all Japanese environment.
This book is one of a series of six aimed at Japanese primary school students; one for each grade. there is a slight overlap with JLPT kanji. Grade 1 covers a lot of the JLPT4 kanji, with Grade 2 you’ll cover most of the JLPT3 kanji, and Grade 3 goes beyond JLPT3.
This book covers the 160 Grade 2 kanji. Each kanji takes a quarter of a two page spread. Each entry has four sections.
- A breakdown of the kanji. onyomi, kunyomi, stoke count, radical, category.
- How to write the kanji. Stroke order, notes on the type of strokes, kanji broken down into components.
- Kanji Etymology. Diagrams showing how the kanji evolved. The pictorial meaning.
- Fill in the blanks. Practice using the kanji in sentences.
The kanji are presented in order of categories, people, animals, plants, house etc. These are very useful at this stage but as the ideas get more abstract at higher grades I suspect many will fall into the その他 everything else category. Stroke count and radical are needed to use dictionaries properly. They are tested in the Kanken test.
The way the kanji are broken down is quite interesting. You could use the instructions to verbally describe to a Japanese person how to write it, in much the same way as in English you’d tell someone how to spell a word.
The etymology helps you understand the kanji. If you can understand it you are more likely to remember it and recognise components in more complex kanji.
Fill in the blanks is useful in giving you example sentences but you don’t even have to guess what you have to write. A longer test page would be more useful.
I think this is a good little book. It only costs 500 yen. I think you could use it as a starting point in learning kanji, before using more comprehensive books aimed at adult second language learners such as JLPT3 Kanji by Examples or Basic Kanji Book vol 1 and 2.