by Guest Bloggers Jennison Lee and Edee Zabriskie
On Tuesday, May 12, Kent Place First Graders hosted their annual Japanese Tea Luncheon. This culminating celebration highlights their interdisciplinary study of the country of Japan.
Students began their Japanese adventure by learning about the similarities and differences between typical Japanese family life and their own family life. They see a video about Japanese elementary schools and a video about Big Bird traveling in Japan. The girls learn about the care that is taken with a Zen garden. Each girl has an opportunity to carefully rake a small Zen garden, collect small rocks to make an individual a rock garden and learn a little about the geography of Japan, including the formation of mountains by volcanoes.
First graders also write Haiku and make tangram designs that they write a story about. They read or listen to many Japanese folk tales and write their own stories. To culminate their knowledge about Japan, First Graders host their Japanese Tea Luncheon. During the First Grade Sharing Circle, each child shares something that she has learned about Japan with the other students, faculty and families who attend the Japanese Tea Luncheon.