Konnichiwa (Hello!) Parents and Caregivers, welcome to our Genki Japanese Newsletter for September.
In the month of August, we taught the children about animals and ‘I like’ vs ‘I don’t like’ as part of Unit 7.
In August, the children learned how to say sea animals in Japanese such as EBI (prawn) and KANI (crab), and other animals such as OKAMI (wolf) and SARU(monkey).
To properly establish those animals in Japanese, we organised a cards game and fishing game, as well as dancing to music and singing a song. We danced to the exercise music called “Ebikanix” and the children made body gestures like “Ebi(prawn)” and “Kani(crab)” while stretching and twisting their body. The children also enjoyed singing a song called “AI AI (aye aye monkey song)” with their body gestures. We noticed that SARU(monkeys) have a big long tail and big round ME(eyes). Some children said “They have big eyes to look for foods such as bananas.” How clever are they! The fishing game is extremely popular with the children, and they all had a go at fishing with one hand. The preschool children stood up and tried using a long fishing rope. That was fun!
In the month of August, we also sang a song called “Kobuta song”. Through this song, we explored what other animals are called and their sounds in Japanese such as Kobuta(baby pig/oink oink), Tanuki(racoon/pon poko pon), Kitsune(fox/kon kon) and Neko(cat/ meow). The children loved this song using their hand gestures.
We also learned how to say “I like” and “I don’t like” in Japanese. When the children were asked “Do you like Kani?”, they answered “Kani suki (I like crab)” or “Kani sukijanai (I don’t like Kani)”. This is only a two word sentence (suki/like) in Japanese which was taught to the children, but some of the children can say three word sentences such as “Kaeru ha Ame ga suki / Frogs like rainy day.” That is excellent! We will continue to practice this conversation in September.
Preschool children learnt extra animal words such as “RISU(squirrel)”, ”USAGI(rabbit)”, ”TANUKI(racoon)” and ”TORI(bird)”. We watched a song called “Yama no ongakuka(mountain musicians)”and we enjoyed pretending to play music such as violin, piano, drum and flute with those animals.
All the toddler children learned basic emotion words such as URESHII (happy), KANASHII(sad) and OKORU(angry) in Japanese. They enjoyed singing and dancing to a song called “Te wo tatakimasho( let’s clap your hand)” by clapping their hands and stamping their legs.
This month, we introduced the “NATSU MATSURI (summer festival)” at all our Kool Kids centres. Natumatsuri is held in various parts of the country in Japan. The meaning of the name arises from a ritual of worshipping Gods or Buddha and displaying gratitude for nature. A highlight of the summer festival is Hanabi (fireworks), which goes back several centuries in Japan. Crafted by skilled artisans, about 4000- 5000 fireworks displays take place in the country from the end of July to August.
In celebration of the festival, we made Hanabi art at our Southport, Ashmore, Helensvale, Pacific Pines and Miami centres. We used toilet rolls for the Hanabi to resemble big flowers, and we added glitter to it. The Miami children decided to use salt instead of glitter, which looked very unique! We all enjoyed making our own fireworks art!
We keep using Japanese to communicate with our sister school in Japan on Skype every month.
In August, the preschool children from Casuarina, Mermaid and Miami had Skype sessions with the Japanese children. In one of the sessions, we quizzed each other on foods and shapes words. The Japanese children showed their song, “Incy wincy spider” in English and our children sang it together with their hand gestures. Our children showed the “Kira kira boshi (twinkle twinkle little star)” in Japanese with their body gestures, and the Japanese children loved our song!
Some Casuarina children showed their winter art of making a snowman. They put rice in a sock and made a snow ball for the snow man. The Japanese children were surprised with our idea and really liked our rice snowman! Some Miami children showed their hanabi (fireworks) arts and explained how they made it. The Japanese children said “Wow it’s beautiful!” and praised our children’s work. Some Japanese children showed their Summer origami arts such as Kakigori(snow corn/shaved ice) and Semi(cicada). Those summer arts were very interesting to our children.
The homework sheet has been updated for unit7-10. All new words and songs the children learned has been included in the homework sheet. So please take one and enjoy the Japanese language with your child/children at home.
In the month of September, we will be teaching children Unit 8, which is Foods and ‘I like’ vs ‘I don’t like’. We also have an event called “Let’s make sushi!” at all our Kool Kids centres. The date and time can be found at each Kool Kids centre. Parents and Caregivers are welcome to come and join our event with your children.
We really appreciate your interest and involvement in Genki Japanese. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask us anytime.
Have a great month and see you all soon!
Arigato~. (Thank you.)
Haruko Sensei, Hiromi Sensei and Chie Sensei