Saturday, April 9, 2011


We finished our two week "trip" to Japan.  Once again we learned quite a bit about a different culture and completed lots of projects, especially art-type things.  Anna made a lapbook on facts about Japan and the boys did their usual country summary report.  Nicolas also completed a special fact sheet about the Japanese macaque (snow monkey).  We did some counting in Japanese and practiced our calligraphy by writing the numbers too.   We looked at/studied the bonsai tree, Japanese screens, origami, Banraku theatre, obenta lunch boxes, Japanese carp, kimonos, Japanese woodcuts, Haiku, and even had our own tea ceremony.  Here are a few pictures of our two weeks.

Japanese screen with flower and box origami

Japanese carp

Caleb's visual for his book report:  Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes

The girls colored and made Kokeshi dolls

Anna's origami fox

Anna put together her own Banraku theater.  

Caleb's watercolor of a famous woodcut print.  A picture of the original is in the upper left corner.

Nicolas' watercolor

Seth's watercolor

After studying about kimonos we made our own Japanese girls with kimonos.

Anna's watercolor

Lydia's watercolor (with Caleb's help)

Lettuce salad with Asian toppers

Japanese Chicken Yakitori


Once again we enjoyed our ethnic meal immensely.  I look for recipes that I think we would enjoy.  Notice I stayed away from seaweed wrapped sushi--we have our experimental limits!  I will include again a list of picture books we enjoyed--the chapter books were posted on the side of the blog as before.

The Paper Crane by Molly Bang; The Tale of the Mandarin Ducks by Katherine Paterson; The Wise Old Woman by Yoshiko Uchida; Shipwrecked by Rhoda Blumberg; Tree of Cranes by Allen Say; Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say; Turtle Bay by Saviour Pirotta; Crow Boy by Taro Yashima; The Boy of the Three-Year Nap by Dianne Snyder and various books on the Samurai and Nagasaki/Hiroshima and the atomic bomb.

Here is Nicolas' Haiku on a tree frog:

Big, shiny red eyes
Sticky fingers, climb a tree
Bright green skin, tree frog

We finish up our unit on Asia with two weeks in Russia.  If anyone has ideas for a good Russian meal, let us know...

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