Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Konnichiwa.
Japanese is the Language Other Than English (LOTE) taught in our school. To raise money for the Japan earthquake and tsunami victims, our LOTE teachers and Japanese parents organised ‘Japan Day’. The student body then participated in various cultural activities on offer. The activities included:

      • Mizu yoyo (water balloon yoyo with an elastic ‘string’)
      • Origami (paper folding)
      • Kimono dress up time
      • Jan Ken Pon (paper, scissors, rock)
      • Kendama (wooden toys)
      • Hachimaki (headbands)
      • Zumba

        Mizu yoyos waiting to be chosen by excited children

        Dressing up in kimonos was a favourite activity
Headbands were a favourite too. This one says ‘Pokemon’

Jan Ken Pon (paper, scissors, rock) was also a favourite – partly because if a child beat the mum opponent, the prize was a lolly!

Sushi and rice balls
 Sushi and rice balls are already on the Tuck Shop lunch menu – but LOTS were eaten on Japan Day.
 
A class book
Next day, we brainstormed words about the experience and listed them on the whiteboard. Then, the children wrote about their day. In conversations about the writing, we talked of adding information, details and feelings.  The children drew colourful pictures on their printed pages of writing and added the pages to an A4 display book. Voila!  A class book for shared, independent and home reading.

Class book of children's writing and pictures about Japan Day

Class charts
Digital photos were used for class charts and displays with pictures, captions, labels and ‘stories’.

A visual PowerPoint
Photos and captions of the activities are on a lively and colourful Powerpoint presentation for classroom use.

Classic Language Experience
Japan Day was a classic Language Experience activity where we:

  • shared a hands-on class experience
  • shared spoken, written and visual language about the experience
  • brainstormed, wrote and used words about the experience
  • constructed class sentences about the experience
  • wrote and drew about the experience
  • made a class book from the children’s writing – for shared, individual and home reading
  • used photos, captions and sentences for reading charts and displays of the experience
  • used the children’s writing as high interest reading materials
  • re-lived the experience by interacting and re-reading the children’s work/products 

Sayounara…and please leave a comment

What did you like about Japan Day?

What new Japanese words did you learn?

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