About Japan, A teacher's resource

lessons.

Lessons are created collaboratively among academic specialists and practicing teachers. They are intended to provide both the contextual information and actionable activities required to be of real practical use. Some lessons are grouped into units; others are developed as stand-along approaches to particular subjects. All lessons are intended to be adapted to the individual needs of teachers and their students.

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Haiku Poems Across the Seasons

Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area: English and Language Arts

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Kodomo no hi: Children's Day Celebration

Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area: English and Language Arts,Social Studies,Visual & Performing Arts

A lesson plan with songs and craft activities for Children's Day (kodomo no hi), celebrated every May 5.

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Japanese Architecture for Elementary School Students

Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area: Visual & Performing Arts

Architect Aki Ishida gives a lesson in Japanese architecture for elementary school students, focusing on relationships between space and light.

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Japanese Architecture for High School Students

Grade Level: Secondary
Subject Area: Visual & Performing Arts

A lesson for high-school students on Japanese architecture.

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Tanabata: Japan's Star Festival

Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area: English and Language Arts,Visual & Performing Arts

Bring Japan's Star Festival, Tanabata, to the classroom and experience a Japanese summer holiday through visual aids, storytelling and many hands-on activities!

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Unit: Japan, 1945 to the Present

Grade Level: Secondary
Subject Area: Social Studies

These lessons deal with the broad changes--politically, economically, and socially--that occurred in Japan from the occupation through the "Lost Decade" during the 1990s. This trajectory is of particular interest in light of the current economic crisis facing the world.

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Nature and the Environment in Postwar Japan

Grade Level: Secondary
Subject Area: English and Language Arts,Social Studies

Modern Japan has a particularly fascinating relationship with the environment. Students will explore Japan's seemingly contradictory attitude and actions, characterized both by a profound, self-proclaimed respect for nature along with a proclivity to exploit and degrade the natural environment. Students will use a variety of sources including informational texts, poetry, and traditional and modern art to explore this paradox. They also will evaluate the government's response and the social reprecussions.

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Living Efficiently: Daily Energy-Saving Practices from Totoro and Today

Grade Level: Elementary,Secondary
Subject Area: Science & Environmental Science

Hayao Miyazaki's much beloved film, My Neighbor Totoro, is used to spark discussion about daily energy-saving practices.

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Obento: The Japanese Lunch Box

Grade Level: Elementary

This lesson, featuring hands-on activities, teaches lower elementary students about nutrition and Japanese food culture through introducing the obento, or Japanese lunchbox many children bring to school.

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Our Family and Other Families: Using Totoro to Teach Family Structure

Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area: English and Language Arts,Social Studies

In this lesson for elementary students, children find similarities between their own families and Japanese families using the well-known and well-loved film "My Neighbor Totoro."

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Education Programs are made possible by generous funding from The Freeman Foundation.
 
Additional support is provided by The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc., Chris A. Wachenheim, Jon T. Hutcheson, and Joshua S. Levine and Nozomi Terao.
 
About Japan: A Teacher’s Resource
is generously funded, in part, by a three-year grant from the International Research and Studies (IRS) Program in the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education (P017A100018).

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