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Novel Unit - Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a true story about a little girl who lived in Japan when the US dopped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Below are some activities to go along with this story or a unit on Japan.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Posted by:Kermit #141740

We will be doing haiku poems and making cranes. I was thinking of making a little journal and recording their thoughts after each chapter as well as doing some acting. Our school also has a set of calligraphy materials so I would like them to learn to do their names or a symbol of some kind.

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Posted by:Jenny #141741

If so how about trying a bit of community outreach and getting the kids to do something nice for kids who are sick in the hospital (although you MAY want to avoid the dying child topic, but that depends on your community). the kids could make pretty pictures, or cards, or books for little kids - then take them in and share with kids in hospital. in fact your class might surprise you and come up with lots of nice things they can do!

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Posted by:shirley #25743

I did a great activity with my class before even reading the book. I took about 20 parts of the book and printed them out one sentence at a time. I made sure that the twenty parts I printed out were sentences that went together. I passed these out to my students and they had to find a sentence that fit in with theirs. It gave them an idea about the book, but no specifics. We discussed the info. we found out from the sentences and then read.

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Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Posted by:Judy #12029

My third graders love it, but it's a little sad even though the story really happened. I do this in May because the story begins with the celebration of Japan's Memorial Day (which remembers the people killed during the atomic bomb). This is actually celebrated in August, and there are usually newsclips of the activities in Japan. Also it's a great tie-in with our own celebration of Memorial Day. We eat sushi, use chopsticks, and study culture as well as make an origami paper crane.
Have fun. This is one of my favorite units.

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Posted by:Jennifer #47893

After reading this story I had my kids make the origami paper cranes. They LOVED making them and sparked a new interest in some kids who needed a hobby.

As far as background, I just told them a little about Pearl Harbor and our retaliation against the Japanese. They asked a lot of questions and I did my best to answer them. I showed them Japan on the map and had them make and color a map of Japan. I also emphasized "Peace Day" and we had our own Peace Day where we were only allowed to say NICE and positive things. I had to remind a few!----Then the regular comprehension questions.

Hope this helps.

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Japan Unit
Posted by:GoTeachers #134187

I lived there for 4 years and this is one of my favorite units. I have tons of books such as Suki's Kimono (teaches about self esteem), Grandfather's Journey (past), The Paper Crane (doing good deeds for others), Yoshi's Feast (getting along with others, working together) and MANY more!

I teach them how to count to 5 in Japanese (we practice daily)... ichi, ni, san, shee, go (sometimes we go to 10, depends on class. I teach them how to say hello and goodbye... koneechiwa (sp.) and sayonara.

We learn about Tokoyo and Mt. Fuji (highest mountain-dormant volcano). We learn about chopsticks (get some disposable ones from chinese place and let them practice picking up things... like cotton balls or something.

We make a Japanese flag (red circle represents the motto- Land of the...

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Japan Activities
Posted by:L.P. #12028

For our Japan unit,we made fans from wallpaper samples and they turned out beautifully. Stores that sell wallpaper often give the sample books away when the line is discontinued. We also made carp kites that the students enjoyed flying, and cherry blossom pictures. For cherry blossom pictures simply place a drop of ink or runny black tempera on a sheet of paper. Have students blow gently through half a straw in one direction to form the tree. After it dries, use bits of pastel tissue paper for the blossoms. :o)

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Posted by:mcgdogmc #89307

We are studying Japan right now. We made traditional carp kites (I found the instructions on the internet), wrote haiku, did watercolor paintings of Mount Fuji, learned to make origami, read some Japanese stories and learned about what Japanese family life is like and what Japanese school is like. My students loved it. We are studying Mexico next.

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An idea or two
Posted by:Cathy-Dee #46010

We had a Japanese Intern this past year at our school and it was great.

The Japanese people very much enjoy their tea ceremonies. Perhaps you could do a cultural exchange with them.

Have your class or even the whole grade level prepare a tea party similar to how we would do it in the States or Canada.

Then perhaps your visitors if they are comfortable with the idea could share part of how they do the Japanese tea ceremony. They may not be able to do this if they don't have the right things with them. But you could ask.

Another way they could share with your class is to show each student how to write their names in Japanese.

Another idea would be for each student to make something in Origami. There are many books out there with instructions, you could choose...

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Posted by:Third grade teacher #71812

We watercolor our illustrations, using fairly small pieces of water color paper. Then, I take two strips of black construction paper for the top and the bottom. I glue there to the top and the bottom, so the picture looks like a Japanese scroll. I type the children's poetry in an elegant-looking font, and glue it to the bottom strip (it covers it slightly and hangs down below the strip). They look great hanging up, and are easy and colorful to do.

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Posted by:cathy #90191

You can make anything into a mobile. Just draw and cut out two copies of what you want like a goldfish my students made koi for a japanese unit. Then paint or color, staple the top partor 2/3rd of the the goldfish together and stuff with one piece of tissue paper then staple the rest, punch a hole on the top and string.

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haiku art
Posted by:KT #68571

We write our nature haiku next to a spring blossom branch the kids make on white paper. To make the branch I drip 5-6 drops of thin black tempura at the bottom of a piece of 8x11 white construction paper. The student then uses a straw to blow on the paint which runs across the paper forming branches. They love doing this after you demostrate the tecnique and stress the importance of blowing "dry" air and blowing across, not down.
The next day after they dry the kids apply tissue or crepe paper blossoms made from small squares wrapped around the eraser end of a pencil, dipped in glue or glue stick and stuck to the branches. it may sound complicated, but is very easy, fast and looks very showy and springy. The hsiku adds another creative touch, but they look good without also. Try it first yourself...

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