Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Golden Week in Japan: Study and Service in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori student learning japanese calligraphy golden week classroom activies
The Golden Week in Japan provides a special opportunity for geography and cultural activities in the Montessori classroom. Opportunities for service and philanthropy among your students also exist around themes associated with these cultural celebrations.

Japan’s Golden Week includes four national holidays and two weekends. It becomes a very busy time in Japan when Showa Day, Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi), Greenery Day (Midori no hi), and Children’s Day (Kodomono-hi) are all celebrated. Bring some of this excitement to your Montessori classroom!

This year, Showa Day (April 29) celebrates the birthday of former Emperor Showa. Constitution Day (May 3) celebrates the day in 1947 that the new (post WW2) constitution was implemented. Greenery Day (May 4) honors nature and the environment. On Children’s Day (May 5) families pray for their sons’ health and success.

While your Montessori students explore the geography and culture of Japan, you can open your discussion with the recent natural disasters that have affected Japan, its people, and the world. You may have already discussed this with your students and/or they may have already heard about the events. Learn more about how people around the world continue to support the Japanese at this time of need.

Japan's Golden Week: Cultural Ideas for the Montessori Classroom

As an extension to your exploration of The Golden Week, encourage your Montessori students to plan and organize a Showa Day, Constitution Day, Greenery Day, or Children’s Day celebration of their own. They can begin by researching customs that are part of the Japanese celebrations and finding ways to incorporate themes and ideas into their own events. For example, the Japanese revere nature, and a tour (or virtual tour) of a Japanese garden in your local area may be a wonderful teaching opportunity. Japanese calligraphy is also a great way to understand art and symbolism in Japanese culture.

Perhaps you would like to invite family members to your Golden Week celebration. At the event, your students could serve food they have made that is inspired by Japanese cuisine. Students could also create artwork inspired by Japanese culture or the customs of The Golden Week holidays (for instance, the samurai dolls of Children’s Day, paper lanterns, calligraphy or a mobile of origami) and then auction off the art in a silent auction to raise funds for a Japanese charitable cause.
Related NAMC blogs:
The NAMC cultural teaching manuals provide a rich curriculum for exploring our natural world and its history, and our place in this amazing universe.

NAMC montessori japanese golden week classroom activities cultural geography manual
View 9-12 Course Content
NAMC montessori japanese golden week classroom activities culture and science manual
View 3-6 Course Content
NAMC montessori japanese golden week classroom activities culture and geography manual
View 6-9 Course Content

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

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