ELEMENTARY RESOURCES
CHINA JAPAN KOREA VIETNAM
Geography Language CULTURE History Science & Math Literature Art Drama & Dance

[MOFA: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan]
With interactive games, manga, and presentations on a variety of cultural topics.

Classroom Activity [Asia Society Kids]
Information on Children’s Day in Japan, with instructions on how to make a koinobori banner/kite (in the shape of a carp) to fly.

Lesson Plan [Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College]
For grades K-3. Students will listen to the story “A Carp for Kimiko” and discuss its theme/lesson. Students will also be introduced to the Japanese holiday, Children’s Day, formerly known as Boy’s Day, and design and create their own carp kite (koinobori).

Lesson Plan [Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College]
For grades K-2. “Daruma is a spherical doll with a red painted body and a white face without pupils. Daruma dolls represent Bodhidharma, a Zen monk who meditated for almost 9 years while sitting in the zazen meditation posture that his legs were of no use anymore.” In this lesson, students will: 1) learn about the historical Bodhidharma and how Buddhism came to China from India, and later to Japan; 2) learn about the Japanese New Year’s tradition of wish making and goal setting as it relates to the Daruma doll; 3) learn the legends of Daruma and his dedication to meditation, his achieving enlightenment, and the relationship Daruma has to green tea; 4) reproduce their own Daruma doll, set a goal, and work towards achieving their goal.

Lesson Plan [About Japan, Japan Society]
For grades 3-5. Students will read the story and watch the Japanese movie about the fantasy creature, Totoro. Students will discuss the structure of the family in Japan and discuss environmental awareness.

[University of Texas, Austin]
Explore Tokyo and its restaurants — hear Japanese spoken (with translations) and learn more about geography, food, and culture in Japan. “The goal of this Web site is to give you the chance you explore the various kinds of foods eaten in Japan. By the time you have explored each restaurant and visited some related Web sites, we hope you will be an expert in the history, geography, nutrition, and ethnography of Japanese food." Site created by graduate students in the Instructional Technology Program at the University of Texas at Austin. Includes a guide for teachers.

Lesson Plan [About Japan, Japan Society]
For grades K-5. Students will understand the importance of an obento (lunch box) in the Japanese lifestyle, learn the basic rules of an obento, and be exposed to a part of the Japanese food culture.

[The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Art]
For grades 5-8. Essay with visual gallery of a reconstructed 18th-century Japanese tea house.

[Portland Japanese Garden]
Grades 5-8. A short overview, with images. Also includes overviews and images of four other types of Japanese gardens (Flat, Strolling Pond, Natural, and Sand and Stone).

[Asia Society & Japan Society]
Grades 5-8. Online guide to a past exhibition, with virtual tour, tea utensils, tea room, and ceremony.

[Bowdoin College]
Grades 3-5. With images, glossary, links, and bibliographical references, as well as a section on the elements of Japanese gardens.

[Missouri Botanical Garden]
Grades 3-5. Essay with images on the major design principles of a Japanese garden.

[Victoria and Albert Museum]
Grades 5-8. Essays and images about the kimono’s history, as well as techniques for weaving, embroidery, and decoration.

| back to top |

© 2009 Asia for Educators, Columbia University | http://afe.easia.columbia.edu