Creative Ideas for Learning about Japan From National Award Winning Teacher Brian Freeman Classroom Activities Suitable for K-6 You can immerse students in the Japanese culture with the following simple activities: Holding a tea ceremony Creating a rock garden Painting with watercolors Making the red and white Japanese flag Creating a diorama of land features Designing your own Han chi Maki (headband) Read Japanese folktales like The One Inch Boy and dramatize the folktales. Create a Japanese Treasure Chest that can be loaned to other classrooms. The chest will serve as a mini-museum that will house souvenirs, pictures and artifacts about Japan. Get Your Whole School Involved! Integrated School-wide Activities Media/Technology and Academically Gifted Teachers: Study Japanese Festivals and Celebrations. Take a closer look at special events like: Shichi go san (Honorable 7-5-3-Nov 15) O Sho Gatsu (New Year-Jan 1), Setsubun (Bean Throwing Day-Feb 2), Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival-March 3), Kodomo No Hi (Children’s Day- May 5). Art Class: Plan activities that will instill in our American children the old ways of ancient Japan and their deep appreciation of beauty, art and nature. The art gallery of your school can become a Toko no ma, a beautiful spot that children select beautiful things to be displayed and will have the opportunity to discuss and appreciate them. Students can study famous Japanese artists like Hiroshige and Hokusai. Student artists can create Washi Paper Fans, Paper Murals, Origami Projects, a Paper Kabuto (Helmet), Kesekae Ningyo (Paper Dolls) and Ceramic Tea bowls. Students can learn Japanese language expressions through Romaji, Kanji and Kana. Students can have the unique opportunity to make scroll books (e maki) using horizontal writing and Japanese symbols. Physical and Health Education: Students can learn: Jan Ken Po (Paper, Stone Scissors), Kutso (Shoe), Ish Ka ri Ken Pa (Hopscotch), Ken Da Ma (Japanese Yo-Yo) and O Te Da Ma (Bean Bags). Music Class: Students can listen to different Japanese styles of music as well as make a Taiko Drum. They can scarf dance as well. Food Services: It is a Japanese culture to honor food. Students will learn that rice is precious and that every grain in used in Japanese culture. Rice images are used in a variety of Japanese literature, art, dance, and music. The food services staff can help to prepare O Nigiri (rice balls), Ramen/Soba noodles and Chocolate covered pretzels. Encourage students to use chopsticks.