Kindergarten Cultural Program: Japan

The Kindergarten class finished their study of Asia with a presentation that featured Japan. Here are a few highlights. The children learned that the flag represents the “land of the rising sun” and the landform - archipelago. They had the opportunity to surround the islands of the archipelago with water and learned that the bullet train is used to connect the four major islands. A few children knew the name of the capital - Tokyo and compared it to New York.

I showed pictures and objects from a few child-oriented holidays- Girl’s Day, Boy’s Day, Children’s Day, Kite Day, and the Star Festival. The children were intrigued by the origami dolls, kites, and displays used in the celebrations. My neighbor’s son attended Orchard Public School in Ridgewood and returned to Japan. Prior to leaving, he made origami Christmas ornaments. The children enjoyed the fact that the first grade student did not use glue, but folds, to create many of the shapes.

They also saw two kites that were hand-painted and made of rice paper - the kabuki and crane kites. The kabuki figure, in their words, was “a little creepy looking”. We talked about theatre and how face-painting and costume creates drama.

The children were surprised to learn that Mt. Fuji, is not a restaurant but, the tallest mountain in Japan:-) They heard a children’s story by a Japanese author, played rhythm sticks to a Japanese song, and sampled sushi.

The next day the children shared what they learned with their 2-day classmates.

P.S. The 2020 Olympics are in Japan; the children will be ready for it!

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