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Materials for experiential,active learners
*Clipart from NJBullying.org
In the News!
Mrs. Portulaca Purpilopilis
and the Purple Adventure Goggles
The Wooden Cookie Box Story The Wooden Cookie Box
Facts to Wow your Friends!(New 3/13- DIRT!)
Where Am I?
Short Reads of interest
Around the World!
Dive into Career Choices
Kids Did It!
Teaching Tips A-Z
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
WEBSITES of INTEREST:
History For Kids
Ellen Jackson -Children's Author
Tween Tribune-News Stories for Student
DogoNews: Fodder for Young Minds
Time for Kids-Around the World
BBC Website for Kids
TES-Largest Network of Teachers in the World
Award winning site for April 2008!
The official U.S. time - snapshot
Travel to Japan
Our travels to the “shakiest place in the world” begins with our plane landing at the Tokyo International Airport. The airline attendant told us that Japan has this nickname because it has over 15000 earthquakes a year. It also has at least 75 active volcanoes. Nippon, which is what the Japanese call their country, means land of the rising sun. One can notice the Japanese flag waving over the main terminal building. It is white with a bright orange/red sun in the center.
One of the first things we notice is how most people are dressed just like we dress back home. However, there are several elderly women walk-ing through the building wearing the traditional kimono. Along with them are two Japanese men wearing the pleated trousers called hakama and a short jacket with wide sleeves called a haori.
Our host for our visit to Japan is a young lady named Keiko who has arranged for us to stay at a traditional Japanese home. The home, a sim-ple one story building with tiled roof, has a lovely garden. We remember to take our shoes off a the entrance before entering the home. We notice that the furnishings look sparse compared to an American home. A low table and cushions are seen and straw mats called tatamis cover the floor. Folded mattresses , called futons, which are currently stored in a closet, will be placed on the tatamis when it is time for bed. Ikebana, or flower ar-rangement, are in all the rooms. Keiko tells us that the Japanese appreciate nature. Before beginning our tour of Tokyo, one of the most populated cities in the world, we have a traditional Japanese breakfast which includes rice, egg, and miso soup. Miso is made of kelp and soybean paste with vegeta-bles added. Before we leave, Keiko shows us her pet cricket. Because there is not much extra room, dogs and cats have not been as popular as they are in the United States but more and more people are starting to them. Fish, small birds, turtles, and even virtual pets and virtual aquariums are popular.
Riding the bullet train, called the shinkansen, is a real experience. These trains can each speeds of 200 or more. Keiko tells us about Japa-nese schools as we ride the train. The new school year begins in April. She tells us that there is a lot of pressure to do well in school so that they can be accepted to the better high schools and colleges. Mothers, called Kyoiku mamas(educational mothers) are very concerned about their chil-dren’s education. Some will even go to school when their children are ab-sent to get the notes and learn the days assignments. In addition to the hours of homework each night, many Japanese students go to juku(after school classes) several nights a week. Despite what appears to be a very long school day, Japanese students still manage to become involved in at least one extracurricular activity. Keiko said that track, volleyball, baseball, soccer and gymnastics are very popular. Keiko also tells us that Japanese students begin and end each day by bowing to their teachers whom they respectfully called "sensei".
We visit the Ginza, the popular shopping district in Tokyo. The mer-chants refer to us as okyakusan (homorable guests) as we look at crafts such as porcelain, calligraphy, ivory carvings, lacquerware, silk weavings and cloisonne(decorative enamelware). Paper folding crafts called origami are also available. Postcards of the cherry blossom , a very popular tree of Japan, remind us that the Japanese gave a number of these pink flowering trees to the United States and can be found in Washington, DC, blooming colorfully each spring. There are also also all different sizes of the monster godzilla which can be purchased as well. Looking over to a park, you can see kids playing baseball, a sport which came to Japan after World War 2 when American soldiers were sta-tioned in the country. Keiko mentions that Walt Disney’s Toykoland is a very popular place to visit.
We take the train to see Mt. FuJi, a volcano which is Japan’s most famous peak and tallest mountain.This nearly perfectly shaped volcano is considered a sacred mountain to the people of Japan and many people take the 7-9 hour climb to the top of Mt. Fuji to see the beautiful view.
As we travel, Keiko tells us about a creative use the Japanese have found for their garbage problem . They are creating new land. Japan has used trash to create a number of man-made islands, several thou-sands of acres in size stretching out miles from the mainland of Tokyo Bay.
If there is time, we’ll travel to the northern island of Hak-kaido and see the city of Sapporo where the Winter Olympic were once held. We might also get to see Kamakura and gaze upon the Big Buddha. Keiko said that she will end our trip back on the island of Honshu and take us to both the cities of Hiroshima and Nagaski. It is at these cities where you can visit the Peace Parks set up to remind people of the tragedies of war, for it was here in Hiroshima and Nagaski, the atomic bomb was used during World War 2.
Learn some Japanese
Good Day- Konnichi Wa
*"Susimasen" is used after saying things. It is the
all-in-one politeness word, meaning “hello,” thanks” and "excuse me”.
Customs of Japan
1. No shoes are worn inside a house.
2. People bow to greet.
3. You wash before entering the tub.
4. Japanese people eat with chopsticks
5. Pointing or licking your chopsticks is considered rude.
If you'd like my entire unit of study on Japan with notes, activities and resources, visit my Teacher Store at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Japan-Learn about the Land of the Rising Sun
Although I have tried to review each link, please check the site to see if it is appropriate for your grade level. Also, please monitor that students stay at the link. Should you find something questionable, please let me know. Thanks!