Genki Japanese Newsletter December 2016

Konnichiwa (Hello), Parents and Caregivers.

In November we taught the children Unit 10: Direction-two word verbs and movement. The children learnt basic direction words such as Migi (right) and Hidari (left), Mae (front/forward) and Ushiro (back) also Ue (up) and Shita (down) in Japanese. Also they learnt some verbs such as Aruku (walk), Hashiru (run) and Oyogu (swim). Preschool and Senior kindy children learnt extra words such as Gu (rock), Choki (scissors) and Pa (paper). Toddler children learnt basic shapes such as Maru (circle), Sankaku (triangle), Shikaku (square), Hartoh (heart) and Hoshi (star) in Japanese. Also they learnt weather words such as Hare (sunny), Kumori (cloudy), Yuki (snowy) and Ame (rainy).

We played a ball game and a parachute game. In the ball game, we sat in a circle and passed the beach ball around us. The children passed the ball to their friend who was sitting to the right hand side of them or left hand side, while saying ”Migi (right) or “Hidari (left”). They also sat in a circle but face and body to the side and passed the ball to their friend who was sitting in front of them or behind, while saying “Mae (front)”or ”Ushiro (back)”.The children enjoyed this game especially when they passed the ball over the head to the front or back.

In the parachute game, the children stood around the parachute and held parachute. Then they walked to the right, left, forward and back. It was so fun and all of children established the direction words while having a fun. We danced to the music called “left, right, forward and back”. The children loved this catchy music and enjoyed stepping or jumping to the correct direction. We also played card games and established moving verbs. Toddler children played a dice game, card game and shapes matching game. Shapes were a little bit difficult for the toddler children but they enjoyed finding the same shapes.  

The Preschool children and some Senior Kindy children played a watermelon splitting game. “Suika (watermelon)” is one of the items that frequently show up in typical scenes of a hot Japanese summer. The fresh one is very juicy (contains 80-90% water) and good for re-hydration. It matches well with the hot and humid Japanese summer. “Suikawari”: a watermelon splitting game, is a traditional game in Japan, often enjoyed in the summer time during festivals or on the beaches. Watermelon is laid out, and each participant is blindfolded and spins around several times, then attempts to smash it open with a wooden stick, while others yell out instructions. After succeeding, chunks of watermelon will be shared among participants. The taste is exceptional, especially when you’ve tried hard splitting it!

Isles of Capri children played using an actual watermelon and tried splitting the watermelon with wooden stick, while other children yelling some suggestions such as “Mae (go forward)”, “Migi (turn right)”, “Hidari (turn left)” and “Stop” to help the children who had eye masks on to go in correct direction. The other centres children used a beach ball and newspaper stick instead of watermelon and wooden stick. The children enjoyed walked with eye mask on and guessed where a ball is.

Preschool children and Senior Kindy children from Southport, Ashmore, Helensvale, Pacific Pines and Miami made jumping frog with origami papers. The children used their fine motor skill to hold origami paper with their fingers. When the children touched their frog’s bottom, the frog jumped or flipped over. The children said which direction frog jumped (front, back, up, right or left). All of the children enjoyed with handmade own frogs. Also the children had an experience of different culture to make something with Origami paper. Origami is a very popular activity in Japan and it is not only with children but also with adults. Some Junior Kindy children played Jumping Frogs which they really enjoyed!

We sang a song called “Gu, Choki, Pa (Rock, scissors and paper) song”. The children enjoyed the song while making Katatsumuri (snail), Choucho (butterfly), Kani (crab), Helicopter, Hebi (snake) and Wani (crocodile) with our Gu Choki Pa hands. The Toddler children sang the “Otenki (weather) song” and Kirakiraboshi (twinkle twinkle little star) in Japanese. The children loved the Otenki song and they were doing their hand and finger gestures very well while singing the song.

We continued to communicate with our sister school in Japan on Skype. In November, preschool children from Southport, Clear Island Waters, Mermaid Waters, Pacific Pines and Miami had Skype lessons. Our children sang “Gu, Choki, Pa (Rock, scissors and paper) song” in Japanese and the Japanese children sang the same song in English. We asked whether each other and found out it is getting cold in Japan and it is getting hot for summer here in Australia.

We counted number 1 to 20 in English and Japanese together and we asked each other questions. Some Miami children showed their Christmas arts such “snowmen” and “Christmas tree”. The Japanese children liked it and they were surprised that we had already started preparing for Christmas. Some of Southport and Clear Island Waters children introduced their name and ages, and then said “Hello” to each other while waving their hand through the big screen. Clear Island Water children sang “A Greedy Gorilla song” in Japanese. This song is a Japanese song, but the Japanese children didn’t know this and our children taught this Japanese song to the Japanese children. It was funny situation but both of the children enjoyed this song together. Pacific Pines children had fun with the gesture quiz game with the Japanese children and enjoyed guessing what animals they are. It was fun!

Helensvale preschool children had their graduation ceremony on 23rd of November. On that day, they sang some Japanese songs in front of their parents and families and they received a warm applause. I am very proud of them. All of the other preschool children will have their graduation ceremony in December and they will sing some Japanese songs. We will miss you all!!

In December we are going to review that we have been learning throughout the year.  

2016 Genki Japanese lessons will finish on Friday, the 16th of December and will commence on Monday, the 6th of February 2017. We would really appreciate your involvement in Genki Japanese and your understanding.

Have a great Christmas and see you all next year!

Arigato~. (Thank you.)

Haruko Sensei and Hiromi Sensei

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