Thursday, March 20, 2014


 We recently finished our unit on Japan. We took  our time and enjoyed ourselves in our study of Japan at a leisurely pace. We learned about everything from kokeshi dolls to Mt Fuji to haiku. Below is the many things we covered and learned about. It made us really desire to travel to Japan one day and see all these things for ourselves! 

                                         Videos about the landscape and history of Japan

                                                                    Wonderful Japan

                                                               Celebrating Mt Fuji

                                                             Travel Guide Japan

                                               Tour of a traditional Japanese house

We also learned about Japanese music and art and watched some videos.

                                        Shamisen- A Japanese three stringed instrument

                                                   Bunraku- Japanese puppet theater

We learned about woodcuts and I made some prints so the girls could paint their own here.

Learned about Haiku.
Practiced writing Japanese letters and symbols
Learned about Japanese kimono dolls
Printed out Japanese paper dolls from Making Friends
Used this map of Japan
The girls made some flying carp
The girls studied Japanese currency from this site
Made printouts from Enchanted Learning to make the Japanese flag and a book on Japan.
 The girls learned to make origami fish using this book.
Kimono coloring pages here.
                             We learned about Japanese lunches called Bento Boxes

Hello Kitty Bento Box

Studied Japanese transportation and watched a video about the Bullet Train

                                                                   Bullet Train

The girls also learned geography terms such as ARCHIPELAGO, ISLAND, MOUNTAIN, VOLCANO, and TSUNAMI.
We studied about volcanoes and The Ring of Fire. We even made our own erupting volcano, which was a huge hit! 

Learned to count in Japanese.

                                                                Counting in Japanese

I Read A Pair of Red Clogs,  Sadako and the Thousand Cranes,  Grandfather's Journey and Tikki Tikki Tembo to the girls.

     We watched a video of the book Tikki Tikki Tembo being read and loved it!

  The girls painted their own kokeshi dolls and had a blast doing it. We used craft paint, empty Danimal bottles for the body and ping pong balls for the head. I had the girls paint the bodies first. Then I glued the ping pong ball heads on with hot glue. Next we used sharpie markers to color in the face and hair of the kokeshi dolls. They turned out so cute and the girls begged to make more!


                                            McLarin's on the left, McKenna's on the right.

 One of the last things we did during our study of Japan was make a miniature Zen Garden.

I used an empty altoids tin and filled it with craft sand. Then we placed a rock or two that we found in the sand and buried it 2/3 of the way . I also made a rake out of a popcicle stick and a toothpick. I left the lid on because I wanted to be able to store it without the sand getting everywhere.  Apparently it doesn't matter with craft sand. It's so fine it still manages to find it's way out of the tin!

                  You can find even more ideas on my pinterest board about Japan



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