Recently, KC made some new Kindergarten friends on Twitter – @TexasKinderClass from Texas, USA. As the two classes tweeted back and forth, they realized that they wanted to know more about where each other lived. @TexasKinderClass offered to make a book about Texas for KC. When we received @TexasKinderClass’s book, the KC children were inspired to make a book about Japan to share with their twitter friends.
We had much discussion about what we should put in our book. Yungi suggested we should, “listen to everyone’s good ideas and then we could try out all the ideas and do the best ones.” The other children agreed. We started with a question: What would Kindergarten children in other countries like to know about Japan? We brain-stormed to up with a long and varied list. This list told me a lot about the theories the children had constructed to help them make sense of the world around them and the connections the children were making to prior knowledge and experiences.
- Japan is Japanese world so not many England people are in Japan
- Japan writing and England writing are different
- Japan have so many island
- And is mountain
- And Japan have a big country, Tokyo
- Japan is in Yokohama
- There is 100 people in Japan
- A hundred million eleventy people
- Japan people speak Japanese. If you don’t know Japanese you can’t understand nothing
- There is so much amazing things in Japan.
- Mount Fuji is pretty amazing
- We can see Mount Fuji from our school
- Mount Everest is in Japan and it is the biggest mountain in the world, bigger than Fuji
- But Fuji is more important because it has a volcano.
- Japanese food is really interesting.
- Sometimes Japanese food is yummy and sometimes it’s yucky
- Japanese people eat so much rice every day.
- That’s why you have to have chop sticks – Ohashi
- And in Japan people eat a lot of seafood, especially octopus legs
- And Senbei. I eat Senbei
- Africa more hot like Japan, not hot
- And there’s typhoons in Japan
- And earthquakes
- But I don’t think we should write about earthquakes because people might feel sad
- And so many plants because I think Japanese people love plants
The children calculated that if we included everything on the list, our book would have 24 pages, which they thought was too much. For several days, we discussed what should be in the book. In the end, through negotiation and voting, we reached a consensus which was, as happens with consensus, no-one’s first choice but was something everyone could live with. The one unanimous decision was that the book should be non-fiction, “so that other kids can know about Japan, how it really is”, Sofia explained. We had lots of discussion about how to illustrate the book. We talked about copyright, and about not using other people’s images without their permission.
The children decided to dedicate their book to @TexasKinderClass for giving them the idea of making a book.