JAPAN!

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THIS IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THE CUTEST UNITS OF THE YEAR.  THROUGH THE CHOPSTICK USAGE YOU WILL SEE THEIR FINE MOTOR SKILLS INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY.  THEY WILL ALSO LEARN A LOT OF JAPANESE.  I AM OFTEN ASKED WHY THE ONLY CULTURE MY STUDENTS STUDY ALL YEAR IS JAPAN AND MY ONLY ANSWER IS “BECAUSE IT’S FUN”.  

 

DECORATING THE CLASSROOM/PROPS

THE FIRST THING I DO TO DECORATE FOR THE JAPAN UNIT IS TO LOWER THE TABLES BY TAKING THE LOWER HALF OF THE LEGS OFF WHICH MAKES THEM ABOUT 18 INCHES OFF THE GROUND SO THAT THE KIDS WORK AT THOSE TABLES KNEELING INSTEAD OF SITTING IN CHAIRS.  THE TABLE DO REQUIRE SOME STABILIZING.

 

OUTFITS:  FOR THIS UNIT WE WEAR JAPANESE JIMBAYS PURCHASED IN CHINATOWN FOR ABOUT $3 EACH.  I HAVE THE BOYS WEAR ALL WHITE (THEY THINK THEY ARE KARATE OUTFITS AND I DON’T TELL THEM ANY DIFFERENT) AND THE GIRLS WEAR A PATTERNED JIMBAY.  THEY DO NOT GET TO KEEP THESE AFTER THE UNIT.

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FIELD TRIP:

OUR FIELD TRIP FOR THIS UNIT IS A SUSHI LUNCH IN WHICH THE KIDS WILL TRY SEVERAL DIFFERENT ITEMS INCLUDING MISO SOUP, SALMON, SPICY TUNA ROLLS, AND OCTOPUS!

 

 

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MUSIC:

I PLAY A MIXTURE OF JAPANESE ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC, JAPANESE CHILDREN'S SONGS AND A FEW “TEACH ME TAPES” WHICH TEACH JAPANESE USING MUSIC.

 

CHOPSTICK BINGO

CHOPSTICKS ARE AN AMAZING FINE MOTOR ACTIVITY FOR THE CHILDREN.  DURING THIS STATION THE KIDS PLAY BINGO HOWEVER INSTEAD OF PLACING THE MARKERS ON THE SHEET WITH THEIR HANDS THEY HAVE TO USE CHOPSTICKS TO MOVE THE MARKERS ONTO THE SHEET.

 

 

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CHOPSTICK RACES

AFTER 10 MINUTES OR SO OF CHOPSTICK BINGO YOU CAN PLAY THE CHOPSTICK RACES.  PLACE ALL THE MARKERS (PLASTIC TEDDY BEARS, COUNTING PUPPIES) IN THE CENTER OF THE TABLE AND GIVE EACH STUDENT A SMALL BOWL AND A PAIR OF CHOPSTICKS.  WHEN YOU SAY “GO” EACH STUDENT PLACES AS MANY MARKERS AS POSSIBLE IN THEIR BOWL USING ONLY THE CHOPSTICKS.  WHEN ALL THE MARKERS ARE GONE HAVE EACH STUDENT EMPTY THEIR BOWL AND COUNT THEIR MARKERS.  THE WINNER IS DECLARED THE CHOPSTICK MASTER!

 

SUSHI VOCABULARY SHEETS

THE FIRST TIME THE STUDENTS ATTEMPT THIS THEY CAN COPY THE WORDS OFF THE BOARD OR THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

 

MAH-JONG MEMORY GAME    

THERE ARE MANY GAMES YOU CAN PLAY WITH MAH-JONG TILES.  THE KIDS ARE FASCINATED BY THE JAPANESE SYMBOLS ON THE TILES.  PICK OUT PAIRS OF THE MOST EXCITING LOOKING TILES AND HAVE THE KIDS PLAY THE MEMORY GAME.  IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE GAME REALLY HARD YOU CAN PUT 3 OF EACH TILE IN THE GAME AND THE STUDENTS MUST FIND 3 OF A KIND INSTEAD OF PAIRS.

 

GO SUSHI (WITH MAH-JONG TILES)

WE PLAY GO SUSHI WITH THE MAH-JONG TILES WHICH IS ACTUALLY GO FISH AND THEY WILL CATCH ONTO THAT VERY QUICKLY.  HAVE EACH CHILD START WITH 7 TILES.  THE OBJECT IS GET RID OF ALL YOUR TILES BY GETTING THREE ALIKE TILES AND LAY THEM DOWN IN FRONT OF YOU.  WHEN IT IS THE STUDENTS TURN THEY ASK ANOTHER STUDENT “KO RAY ARIMASKA?”  THAT MEANS DO YOU HAVE ONE OF THESE? AND THEY HOLD UP A TILE.  IF THE STUDENT THEY ASKED HAS THE TILE OR TILES THEY HAVE TO GIVE THEM TO THE STUDENT WHO ASKED.  IF SOMEONE LAYS DOWN THREE PARROTS AND ANOTHER STUDENT HAS THE FOURTH PARROT THEY MAY LAY IT DOWN NEXT TO THE THREE PARROTS ON THEIR NEXT TURN.

 

SUSHI WORD SEARCH

THE FIRST TIME THE KIDS DO THIS THEY HAVE THE WORDS WRITTEN AT THE BOTTOM, AFTER THAT THEY MUST WRITE IN THE WORDS THEY FIND.

 

SUSHI VOCABULARY SHEET

STUDENTS FILL IN AND COLOR VOCABULARY SHEET.

 

SUSHI IDENTIFICATION

STUDENTS FILL IN 1-10 DIFFERENT KINDS OF SUSHI ON THE TABLE IN FRONT OF THEM.

 

SUSHI BINGO

USING LAMINATED SUSHI PLACE MATS (ACQUIRED FROM ANY SUSHI RESTAURANT, HOWEVER YOU MUST TAKE OUT ANY BEER PICTURES ON THE SHEET) YOU CAN PLAY BINGO WITH THE KIDS HOLDING UP THE NAMES OF THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SUSHI DISPLAYED ON THE SHEET.

 

JAPANESE MYSTERY WORD

STANDARD MYSTERY WORD WITH JAPANESE VOCABULARY WORDS.

 

JAPANESE REVERSE MYSTERY WORD

THE STUDENTS PLAY REVERSE MYSTERY WORD.

 

CONSTRUCTION PAPER SUSHI

THE STUDENTS CAN MAKE REALLY CUTE SUSHI ART USING CONSTRUCTION PAPER FOR THE DIFFERENT PIECES OF SUSHI.

 

JAPANESE CUTTING

STUDENTS CUT OUT AND REASSEMBLE THE SUSHI AND SUMO PICTURES.

 

ORIGAMI

I TRIED FOR YEARS AND YEARS TO DO ORIGAMI WITH THE STUDENTS AND EVEN WITH THE PAPERS WITH THE FOLDS AND NUMBERS WRITTEN ON THEM I SIMPLY COULD NOT MAKE IT WORK.  I ENDED UP MAKING ALL THE PROJECTS FOR THEM.

 

JAPANESE MATH

THE FIRST MATH SHEET IS JUST LEARNING THE SYMBOLS FOR THE NUMBERS AND WRITING THE NAMES OF THE NUMBERS.

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THE NEXT SHEETS HAVE THE STUDENTS ADDING AND SUBTRACTING USING THE JAPANESE NUMBERS.

 

LISTENING CENTER/READING CIRCLE

THERE ARE SOME REALLY CUTE BOOKS ABOUT JAPAN FOR CHILDREN INCLUDING YOKO (THE STUDENT WHO BRINGS SUSHI FOR LUNCH) AND IF WE LIVED IN JAPAN.

 

HELPFUL/INTERESTING WEB SITES:

WWW.ORIGAMIFORKIDS.COM

WWW.TAMMYYEE.COM