Japan On The Road Curriculum

A Day in the Life…

Japan on the Road (JOR) centers around the life of schoolchildren in Japan today, focusing on third through sixth grade. JOR teams of Japanese and Americans travel to elementary schools throughout SW Washington and Oregon. We bring a specially designed Japan on the Road kit which includes maps from a Japanese classroom, a model of a Japanese home, a traditional Japanese breakfast, a Japanese school uniform and the randoseru, an elementary school book bag packed with all the books and materials that a Japanese student would use during the day. Also included are a photo presentation created specifically for this program and other everyday articles and activities to help American students visualize a day in the life of their peers in Japan.

Sample Program

Japan on the Road has been designed to stretch the students’ minds as they learn about the people and places of today’s Japan. The two and a half hour program is presented as follows:

1.) Introducing Japan
Using maps from a Japanese classroom, our team will introduce the students to Japan, its main islands and some of the highlights of the country that appeal specifically to young people. Students will learn a little about Japan’s geography and see and hear the Japanese language as our “field trip” begins.

2.) How does a Japanese student get ready for school?
We stop at a Japanese home as our team members perform a short skit for the class which presents morning in a Japanese household. American students will discover what kids their age in Japan eat for breakfast, wear to school, pack in their school bag and how they get to school each day.

3.) Sensei, Ohayo Gozaimasu! (Good Morning Teacher!) and the school day:
The students will learn how important respect is in Japanese society, starting with the role of the teacher in Japan. They’ll learn how to greet their teacher Japanese-style and then meet Aya, Miki, Sota and their friends via a photo journey. The photo presentation is designed to include class participation as it follows Aya and friends through their day, showing them at home, at school and at play.

4.) My name in Japanese
Following a recess or stretching break, the students will hear and receive their own names written in Japanese and learn the etiquette of receiving something Japanese-style.

5.) Activity Time: What’s it like to live, eat, write, and share stories in Japan?
In smaller groups, students will learn more about Japan as they rotate through three activity stations. All grade levels will learn about life in a Japanese home, “touring” an architectural model of a Japanese apartment. An introductory lesson in writing kanji opens a door to reading and writing in Japanese. Younger grades will see and hear a traditional Japanese folk story presented in a kamishibai theater box. Fourth, fifth and sixth graders will learn Japanese table etiquette hands-on, including the art of using chopsticks!