Thursday, April 28, 2011

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

NAMC montessori classroom activities golden week japan culture study community service folding cranes
The Golden Week includes four national Japanese holidays and two weekends. It becomes a very busy time in Japan when Showa Day, Constitution Day, Greenery Day, and Children’s Day (Kodomono-hi) are all celebrated. This year the weekends are not as well placed as usual, but Showa Day is April 29th, Constitution Day is May 3rd, Greenery Day is May 4th, and Children’s Day is May 5th.

A look at The Golden Week in Japan provides a special opportunity for geography and cultural activities in the Montessori classroom, while also encouraging the possibility of service and philanthropy for your students.

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

Showa Day celebrates the birthday of former Emperor Showa. Constitution Day celebrates the day in 1947 that the new (post WW2) constitution was implemented. Greenery Day honors nature and the environment. On Children’s Day families pray for their sons’ health and success (a special day for daughters is held annually on March 3).

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 are extending their help and support to the Japanese at this time of need.

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 with researching customs that are part of the Japanese celebration and finding ways to incorporate themes and ideas into their own events.

If your students decide that they would like to help the people of Japan, parents and the administration of your Montessori school may be invited and encouraged to participate in the celebration with a small donation. At the event, your students could serve food they have made that is inspired by Japan. Donations could be accepted for the food to further your students' goal to contribute to the Japan relief effort. 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 or a mobile of origami) and then auction off the art in a silent auction.
Related NAMC blogs:
NAMC montessori classroom activities golden week japan culture study community service culture and science manuals The NAMC 3-6 Culture & Science teaching manual provides a rich curriculum for exploring our natural world and its history, and our place in this amazing universe.
    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 Thursday, April 28, 2011.


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