This version of karuta puts an interesting twist on the old stand-by, usually with less crying at elementary school.
1. Have the students make groups and hand out the karuta cards.
2. Establish a rotation from group to group; clockwise usually works best.
3. Say your first karuta word.
4. The student who got the card should keep the card with them, and join the next group in the rotation. (There should be a newly vacated seat from the winner of that group who just advanced).
5. Continue like this until all the cards are gone, then have students return to their original groups and count up the total number of cards their team got.
6. The team who got the most cards wins!
To make your cards easier to sort later I usually number each set with permanent marker on the back. Then you can just flip them over and put all the ones back together and so on.
Props to Rory Harnden, I learned this version from him!