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Fan of Japan

Learn about Japan---its geography, culture, sports, and industries? Decorate a fan with symbols of the country, past or present.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Japan is a small country located on a mountainous archipelago of four main islands. It is located in the sea more than 115 miles (190 km) from the continent of Asia. This distance protected Japan in many ways throughout its history. Japan cut itself off from outside influences for long periods of time. Only 2% of the population is not Japanese. Students learn about how the country was created and find out how the times of isolation affected the nation.
    2. Japan has also adapted various influences from its neighbors, China and Korea, and made them their own. Study what those things were and how the Japanese changed them. Find information about contemporary Japanese culture, sports, and industry.
    3. With Crayola® Scissors, cut two pieces of oak tag into identical fan shapes. Using Crayola Washable Markers, draw pictures about Japan. Illustrate one side of both pieces of the fan.
    4. Sandwich a craft stick between the two fan pieces with Crayola School Glue. Dry.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: All About Japan: Stories, Songs, Crafts and More by Willamarie Moore; The Way We Do It in Japan by Geneva Cobb Iijima; I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi

    Invite a community member who was born in or lived extensively in Japan to speak with the class. Prior to the meeting, students compose questions for the interview. After the visit, students post learning to a class blog.

    Encourage students, or small groups, to focus on two aspects of Japan (geography, music, sports, art, holidays, etc.) and feature one aspect on each side of their original fans. Fans can be displayed in bases made with Crayola Modeling Clay so viewers can see both sides. Accompanying each (side of the) fan is a written or word-processed summary of student research on chosen topics.

    As students research aspects of Japan and its people, have them compare and contrast their topics to that of their home countries. Students organize these comparisons into an electronic format. All class contributions can be accumulated to create on all-encompassing presentation.

    Students research the geography and landmarks located on the Japanese Islands. Students create a map of their findings. Students should be prepared to discuss each landmark, its name, and influence on the Japanese country and its people.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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