[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Theme:  Water and culture are strongly interlinked. We all know that water is essential to life itself, but it can also affect how we live our lives.
Overview: This is cultural activity for kids, which invites students to explore interesting aspects of Japanese culture and how water interfaces with these aspects.
Target Audience: Upper elementary and middle school students
Time required: 45 minutes
Preparation: Ensure that your students have access to this website or print out copies of the following 4 art works and the artist descriptions that accompany them: Rice Planting, Onsen, Turtle that Comes Back to The Ocean, and Jiman


1. Divide class into groups and assign a different piece of art to each group.

2. If each group doesn’t have access to a computer, print out the art and artist descriptions, and hand one set to each group. Also, if necessary, copy, print, and hand out the appropriate questions for each piece.

3. Students examine and discuss each picture and then answer the following:

4. Suggested additional activity, if time allows: Re-enactment: group members form a “tableau” with each member selecting one person in the scene. Copy their body position, facial expression, etc. and freeze. At the signal, each participant unfreezes and all group members interact and act out in action and dialogue what might happen next.

5. Allow 5 minutes per group (20 minutes in all for 4 groups) to display their assigned art piece, present their discoveries and insights – perhaps leading a short discussion, and, time permitting, to act out their one-minute tableau scenes.

6. End with a short discussion of what the students have learned about Japan and the importance of water in Japanese culture. Is water more important to their culture than to ours?

“Rice Planting” by Tomoya Ikuta

Observation questions: Look closely at the details in the art, read the artist description, and answer these questions:

Does your school have a garden or a farm?

Men’s role:

Women’s role:

Website:    http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/explore/calendar/june/rice.html

JAP-11-069 (1)
“Onsen” by Chiho Yoshida

JAP-11-059 (1)
“Turtle that Comes Back to the Ocean” by Yuka Matumato

Find out how many miles the turtles have to travel to get to this gulf.

Website:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3XAGJgLbU4


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