Konnichiwa (Hello!) Parents and Caregivers, welcome to our Genki Japanese Newsletter for October.
In the month of September, as part of Unit 8, we taught the children about foods and phrases such as ‘I like’ vs ‘I don’t like’.
Learning About Foods in Japanese
Last month, the children learned how to say certain vegetables and fruits in Japanese. These included NINJIN (carrot), TAMANEGI (onion), JAGAIMO (potato) and SUIKA (watermelon).
To properly establish those foods in Japanese, we organised a cards and dice game. We also read books and sang songs. The book we read is called “Oyasai Ton Ton (let’s cut the vegetables)” and the children pretended to wash, peel and cut the vegetables with their hand gestures.
The children enjoyed saying “ton ton ton” to mimic cutting sounds. Together, we sang a song called the “Curry Rice Song”, using hand puppets and different gestures. The children absolutely loved this song!
To further expand on this learning, the Pacific Pines, Ashmore, Miami, Southport and Helensvale children made curry rice art. We used real vegetables as stamps, and coloured in with pencils and crayons. All of us had a great time, and the outcome was beautiful!
In the month of September, we also sang a song called “Kuishinbo no Gorira (a Greedy Gorilla Song)”. Through this song, we explored what other foods are called and what they taste like in Japanese such as Banana/Oishi (banana/yummy), Remon/Suppai (lemon/sour) and Mikan/Amai (mandarin orange/sweet). We sang this song using hand puppets and different hand and face gestures. The children loved this song too!
Saying “I like” and “I dislike”
During this month, we also continued learning how to say “I like” and “I don’t like” in Japanese. When the children were asked “Do you like Ninjin?”, they answered “Ninjin suki (like carrot)” or “Ninjin sukijanai (don’t like carrot)”. This is only a two word sentence in Japanese which was taught to the children. We tried to teach the preschool children three word sentences in a grammatical manner such as “Watashi ha Ninjin ga suki desu / I like ninjin.” That was bit hard, but most of the children repeated what we said.
All the toddler children learned basic shape words as well. These included Maru(circle), Sankaku(triangle), Shikaku(square), Hartoh(heart) and Hoshi(star) in Japanese. Understanding the shapes is little difficult for the toddler age, but majority of the children pleasantly surprised us!
They enjoyed singing a song called “Kirakiraboshi (twinkle twinkle little star)” using their hand gestures or holding star in the air.
Let’s Make Sushi!
Our entire Koolkids centre had an event called “Let’s Make Sushi” in September. It was very successful and all of the children enjoyed making and tasting their own sushi roll. Sushi is very popular in Australia and also amongst the children who exclaimed “I like sushi!”
The children put seaweed on the bamboo mat and put some rice on the seaweed. Then, they chose one ingredient from cucumber, chicken, avocado and tuna mayo. After that, the children rolled their sushi up with a bamboo mat and thoroughly enjoyed the sushi they made.
Some of the children asked “Can I have chicken and avocado?” or said “I would like to have tuna and cucumber”. A few of the other responses were: “I make sushi with mum at home”, “My mum has a bamboo mat at home”, “I went to sushi last week”. One of the boys even said, “I don’t like seaweed but I like the rest of that.”
All the children experienced different food and culture, and many of them even asked for a second one.
This year, we had some volunteers at the event as well. We had seven international high school students from Okayama, Japan who are studying at Saint Stephens College for a year and two Japanese ladies who live on the Gold Coast. They helped our children to make their own sushi.
We would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers, parents and caregivers who attended our sushi events.
This month, we also introduced the “OTSUKIMI (moonlight viewing)” at all our Kool Kids centres. The full moon in mid-autumn is special day for Japanese people. We celebrate it to give thanks to god/spirit for the rice harvest. It’s called “OTSUKIMI: The moon viewing festival”. We offer Odango (rice cake ball) with sweet beans inside and SUSUKI (silver grasses) to the god/spirit of the moon. In celebration of the Otsukimi, we made odango (rice cake ball) at our Southport, Ashmore, Helensvale and Miami centres. We used playdough and made little ball with their hands. Then we put those odango into a special basket which made with origami paper.
We keep using Japanese to communicate with our sister school in Japan on Skype every month.
In September, the preschool children from Clear Island Waters, Helensvale and Miami had Skype sessions with the Japanese children. In one of the sessions, we quizzed each other on animals. The Japanese children showed their song, “Rock, Paper, Scissors” in English and our children sang it together with their hand gestures. Our children showed the “Kobuta song” in Japanese with their body gestures, and the Japanese children sang it together through the big screen. That was lots of fun!
Some Japanese children showed us their Autumn art which is Tombo (dragonfly). This art is something that we will be exploring in October. Some of our Helensvale children showed their spring art such as a spring flower made by a fork, butterfly made by pasta and caterpillar craft using their hand print, and explained how to make those. The Japanese children liked our ideas.
In the month of October, we will be teaching children Unit 9, which are adjectives and their opposites. Toddler children are going to learn about animals.
As Chie sensei who was teaching Japanese at Casuarina, Nerang and Yacht Street is away for the rest of the year, we would like to introduce you our relief teachers as follows:
Casuarina: Miss Lindy York
Nerang: Miss Kayo Sedgmen
Yacht Street: Miss Yoko Kashino .
Lindy sensei, Kayo sensei and Yoko sensei, welcome to Koolkids!
Good luck in Japan, Chie sensei, we will see you next year.
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 and Hiromi Sensei