Celebrations & Traditions: Japanese Culture Day (Grade 2)

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Celebrations & Traditions: Japanese Culture Day (Grade 2)
Serrin Smyth

Grade 2 Culture Day Celebrations!

As part of their Where we are in place and time: Celebrations & Traditions unit of inquiry, students engaged in a day of provocations relating to the Japanese celebration "Culture Day". 

As students work towards developing an understanding of how "Traditions within celebrations connect people locally and globally", teachers provided a range of learning experiences for students to experience different forms of Japanese culture. 

At the beginning of the day, students shared their initial thinking and prior knowledge on what they thought the word 'culture' meant: 

One of our lovely support staff, Noriko, collaborated with Ms Kampa and taught two traditional dances connected to Obon Festival: 

Students developed questions throughout this experience that they are interested to understand more about including; 

- What are the drums for? Are they only for boys? 

- Do the boys do the dance? 

- Why don't they eat sushi on Obon? 

- Do people always use chopsticks in Japan?

- Why is it called Obon? 

- Why do people wear the Kimono for the festivals?

In music, Ms Ofstedal lead a lesson looking at traditional Japanese instruments. The students predicted the sounds of the instruments, listened to whether their predictions were correct, shared where they may have heard these instruments before and then had a lively session of Taiko Drumming!

In the Grade 2 homerooms, students sorted and categorized traditional Japanese food to the different seasons they are often enjoyed: 

 Additionally, they looked at the Kimonos, discussing the names of the parts of a Kimono and creating their own origami Kimono: 

 In Japanese class, all students were given their own Calligraphy pen and they practiced the art of Calligraphy and discussed the important role this plays in Japanese culture. 

At the end of the day, students reflected on their learning and considered how their thinking of 'culture' had changed since the start of the day. (Blue post it notes - first thinking, pink post it notes - end of the day thinking)

The day after, students reflected on all of their experiences and designed a definition of what 'culture' means. 

They believe culture is: 

- Music

- Art 

- Flags (Symbols that show the country)

- Things that show what country you are from

- Celebrations

- Dance

- Traditional dress

- Different foods

- Traditions

They discussed how Seisen has a culture, and offered the ideas of our Seisen uniform, the school create and International Day Festival as examples that show our Seisen culture. 

They were challenged with the questions: Is it just countries that have culture? Yes/No - What makes you say that?

We look forward to a presentation this afternoon all about Diwali and the elements of culture within this traditional celebration! 

We hope parents will support this inquiry by additionally sharing any other celebrations that are important to your family and encourage you to share with the homeroom teachers some information about these celebrations for us to engage with. 

 

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