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Have you ever thought of what it would be like to live in another part of the world? What is it like for children who move to the United States from another country? What would someone moving to the United States need to know about our culture? Some things are the same while others are very different.
You are going to help a new student from Japan feel welcome at your school before he even arrives, by creating a book. The book will show what is the same and what is different about the way Americans and Japanese live. You will be working in groups of four. Each group will do one chapter for the book.
The chapters are:
Read A Country Far Away by Nigel Gray. Notice how a rural area of East Africa (Kenya) is compared with life in a suburban area of America. What does the author show that is the same? How does he show what is different? We are going to use this story as a model to make our own book about the United States and Japan.
Each group should make a brainstorming list about their topic on Japan:
Look for information about life in Japan. You may use books, CD-Roms, the Internet, magazines, or personal interviews.
Share with your group all the information that you found, and listen to what they learned. Each of you should pick one important fact about your topic to include in the class U.S./Japan book. Decide how you are going to illustrate your fact for life in the U.S. and life in Japan. You can draw, paint, copy, or paste your illustration.
Share the book with the class.
Japanese Fairy Tales
These tales from Japan include The Tongue-Cut Sparrow, Tiny Finger, and Urashima Taro.
Kids Web Japan
Explore Japan. Find out sports and games, culture, school, daily life, culture, economy and industry, nature and climate, regions of Japan, politics, annual calendar and much more.
Kid's Window - Learn About Japan
A collection of drawings done by Japanese children about everyday life such as houses, streets, parks, sports, pets and children.
An exploration of Japan covering the educational experience, museums, science, world of animals and plants, transportation, entertainment, sports, media, links to other kids pages, and general information about Japan, such as the government, economy, politics, civic activities, and traditional culture.
This site has two useful sections - an Adult-Free zone for the kids featuring games, crafts, activities, and photo images, and For Educators that has lesson plans, readings and classroom activities.
Say Hello to the World
Learn how to say hello in many languages from around the world.
World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, World Book Inc., 1997
Akio Me and Alves Annick, 1993
Bauer The Magic Fan HBJ, 1989
Friedman How My Parents Learned to Eat HM, 1984
Kalman Sayonara, Mrs. Kackleman Viking, 1989
Say The Bicycle Man HM, 1982
Say The Tree of Cranes HM, 1991
Yashima Crow Boy Penguin, 1983
Hooks Peach Boy Bantam, 1992
Long The Bee and the Dream: a Japanese Tale Dutton, 1996
McCarthy Grandfather Cherry Blossom Kodansha, 1993
McCarthy Urashima and the Kingdom Beneath the Sea Kodansha, 1993
Motomora Momotara Raintree, 1989
Mosel The Funny Little Woman Dutton, 1972
Snyder The Boy of the Three Year Nap HM, 1988
Cowley The Mouse Bride Scholastic 1995
Bailey Japan Steck-Vaughn, 1990
Dawson Japan Steck-Vaughn 1996
Haskins Count Your Way Through Japan Carolrhoda, 1987
Jackson Clothes From Many Lands Steck-Vaughn, 1995
Jackson Homes Around the World Steck-Vaughn, 1995
Morris Weddings Lothrop, 1995
Hello! From Around the World: Japan Ernst Interactive Media, 1993
You will be collecting a lot of information, so it is important to keep track of it. Keep a pencil and paper with you. You can take notes by using a few words or drawing a picture, making copies of pictures, or printing them out on the computer. Make sure you know where each piece of information came from.
You will be graded on:
People all around the world enjoy the same activities, but not always in exactly the same way.
Are there other activities or things that you enjoy that were not included in our book?
Would you enjoy going to live in Japan?
What do you think you would like the best?
What would you not like?
What did you do well?
What could you have done better?
Did you make good use of your time?
Look back at your brainstorming sheet?
Did you find out the answers to your questions? Why? Why not?
Jamie Boston, Librarian
Birch Lane & Pioneer Elementary Schools
Davis Joint Unified School District
SCORE - CH/SSP Technology Academy 1997
Lesson reviewed for accuracy by Dr.Carol Whitmer, Dean of Education Simpson College
Visit the Birch Lane Homepage at http://www.birchlane.davis.ca.us
Last Revised: 03/28/06