Year 4 had a fantastic morning, learning about and experiencing the Japanese culture from our wonderful visitors from “Japan In Your Classroom” : Mrs Ward-Penny, Mrs McCabe, Mrs Hanstock and Mrs Mott.
We started off the day by learning a little more about Japan. We found out about the different islands that make up the country and some of their everyday routines. The children loved seeing some of the different animals that can only be found in Japan like the flying squirrel but weren’t so keen on the idea of cleaning up their classrooms everyday after school!
We then learnt how to use a Soroban which is a traditional Japanese calculator, a little bit like an abacus. It took some skills to use as it was quite complex but the children started to get the hang of how to make and add numbers by moving the beads!
We then had a calligraphy lesson using ink and brushes. We learnt the names of the different types of lines used to create a letter or character then had a go at drawing the symbol for a fish and a dog. The children enjoyed learning the different brush strokes and surprised our visitors with just how artistic they were!
After that, we had a traditional Japanese story told with sound effects and a song too! We then had a go at some origami. Firstly, we made a warrior hat, carefully following the instructions to fold the paper. The children didn’t find this too tricky but were then challenged to make a cat or dog puppet too! This was slightly harder as the paper was smaller but the children all manged to succeed!
Lastly, we learnt a little more about the traditional kimono outfit and when it is worn in Japan. The children then tried them on and some of them quite liked their new look!
The children thoroughly enjoyed the whole morning and learnt even more to finish off our topic on Japan. They were fantastic at sharing their already vast knowledge on the topic and asked lots of questions as they were fascinated by some of the comparisons with their own culture.