I posted KC koto, here is KP’s!
Koto on PhotoPeach
I posted KC koto, here is KP’s!
Koto on PhotoPeach
The children had a Koto session with Dr Amato, as part of our Japanese culture curriculum and our Unit of inquiry, “How We Express Ourselves”. Dr Amato is the head of the International Centre for Japanese Culture. The children were enthusiastic, yet respectful, as they worked with Dr Amato.
Koto by Yuri Air
This is a perfect example of how different areas of the curriculum come together in authentic ways to support student learning. Ms Yuri invited the children to learn about Children’s Day from her book about Japanese cultural events. The children remembered there was a huge Koinobori in ELC. We wondered whether the children would like to visit the ELC. They quickly said yes and made the suggestion of taking clipboards and paper to sketch the Koinobori.
Koinobori inquiry by Yuri Airs
The children applied their sketching skills from art, carefully recording details of Koinobori for their own design. The children noted the Koinobori fluttering in the wind and pondered the question, What material is this made of? This was a direct link to our Unit of Inquiry about how we manipulate materials to suit our purposes.
Drawing our Koinobori on PhotoPeach
The children came back to class and wanted to share ideas of how to make their own Koinobori. The children had lengthy discussions about the appropriate materials for their Koinobori. They pondered which adhesives would be needed to connect pieces.They estimated lengths of fabric, paper and plastic. Some children used rulers to measure the length of their fish. They used words such as, longer, shorter, fatter and small to describe their designs. This shows the practical application of our measurement unit in maths.
Making Koinobori on PhotoPeach
The children made their Koinobori on a particularly gusty day and were able to test and modify their designs.
Etsuko Inada (Hana’s grandma) is a master calligrapher, this means she has a special name, Sessui Yamamoto. She used to take part in calligraphy competitions and Hana’s mum remembers her practicing calligraphy and the fragrance of ink filling the house when she was a child.
Sessui Yamamoto kindly offered to share her expertise with the children. She came to school with her special mat, calligraphy paper and brushes. The children were amazed by the huge brush and enjoyed calling out words for her to write.
We hope you enjoy sharing this special experience with us.
Learning from a calligraphy master. on PhotoPeach
The children explored written forms of communication as works of art. They were intrigued by the beauty of Arabic but were drawn to a text they recognised, Japanese. A conversation and questions arose,
Thank you Ms Yuri for recording and editing this video.
The children have engaged in conversations about written language as an art form. From these conversations the children became inspired to create their names in Japanese text. Ms Yuri prepared each child’s name in Katakana. The children who could write in Japanese took the role of teacher, helping other children form the Japanese symbols.
Learning to write our names in Katakana. on PhotoPeach
At the beginning of the school year the children inquired into forms of written communication. They drew links between Katakana and English. This exploration has been enriched through the multilingual parent reading sessions.
At the beginning of our unit of inquiry. “How We Express Ourselves” the children explored different art forms such as dance, music and the written word. We looked at many images of writing as art. We noted that many cultures use calligraphy.
The children quickly pointed out Kanji, Hirogana and katakana. An intense debate ensued as the children explained the difference between types of Japanese writing. It became apparent that every child in the class could identify Japanese text. The children spent 20 minutes finding Japanese writing in the class. In the next engagement with this topic the children cut out Japanese text from newspapers and junk mail. They represented their finding in their own aesthetic style. The question still remains, how could they tell the writing is Japanese?
This is what the children said about their findings.
Hana I used a lot of kanji. I seen kanji before. I like kanji it is tricky and helps your brain work.
Julie: Why did you pick something that was hard?
Hana: It is good to do something hard.
Alex: I think I have Kanji because like sometimes when you are American you don’t know what Kanji is. Like at the end of the day you go onto it (computer) and find Kanji.
Sofie: I thought this would be good to put some Japanese writing and I copied it and we found some Japanese cats and dogs. We found four maps,1,2,3,4.
Julie: We started to make a lot of of S words like Stomp and Sofie. We love it because we can learn to write. I think it is everything Katakana, kanji.
Suwon: I can see Hirogana and Katakana and kanji. It’s so many writing.
Shoma: This… I take this one cause I like this.
Jiwon: Kanji. It a like it. So many like it… writing.
Naoimh: I made a flower with the Japanese writing. It’s not the same lines (as English writing).
Ray: They are more Japanese. They have more lines and less lines. There is Kanji to and Katakana.
Eren: Showed the class the piece she created and smiled.
Aiden: I have two letters of Japanese. I drew this and cut it out. I found it on the paper.
Oskar: Pointed to Japanese writing on page.
Feng: I don’t know. Because there no English, cause English and Japanese are not the same.
Ruby: I know Japanese letters. I can write them but I can’t say them.
Allen: My name is in Katakana and I can do Kanji. It says hiyashi and mori.
Cindy: Taiwan. Yu’e, twan, one, wa, yen, tzu, suwa, juyo (phonetic representation of the characters she pointed to).
The children contacted their twitter buddies to tell them about our field trip. Our buddies in England wanted to know about this special celebration. We send them a link and told them we would take photographs.
Now Kingfisher class can go on the field trip with us This is called a virtual field trip and enables children to participate in an event miles away from them. We will also use these pictures for a special project with a class in India.
These are Sofie, Ruby and Ms Zoe’s pictures. Ruby choose them and Ms Zoe made the photopeach.
Tasha and I are taking a course through Harvard’s school of education. It is called Making thinking visible. Visible thinking helps children and their teachers develop an environment for thinking. Thinking routines are built into the daily routine to help children develop a deeper understanding of content and help them express their ideas.
We used one of the routines as we prepared for a Japanese culture lesson. Yuri could have told the children all about Shichi-Go-San, instead we placed two special bags for the celebration on the floor and posed questions. Here is a small sample of what we recorded. This thinking routine is called “See, think,wonder.”
What do you see?
What do you think?
What do you wonder?
This video is long at about 8 minutes but it is edited down from about 30 minutes of discussion!
In Japan, Shichi-Go-San is a special festival for children who are three, five or seven years. Children of these ages dress in traditional clothes and go to the shrine to pray for long life. They get special, very long candy called Chitose Ame symbolizing healthy growing and a long life.
Yuri talked about the festival with the children. Some of the children had celebrated the festival in the ELC when they were three. Yuri showed the children the long candy and explained that the children would need to a special bag to carry the candy. After some discussion about what kind of bag they would need, the children decided to make their own bags. For the next hour the children were deeply engaged in personal and collaborative inquiries into how to make a paper bag that was the right size for the candy, strong enough to hold the candy and designed in such a way that the candy would not fall out.
In that hour the children were engaged in:
thinking about elements of design
planning which materials and techniques to use
following their plans to create the bags
testing their designs
problem solving and adapting the designs
Throughout the process the children collaborated, reflected, analyzed, predicted, hypothesized, encouraged, reflected and rejoiced!
Making a bag for Shichi_Go-San.