Monday, April 11, 2016

Welcome to Japan!

This past week was spent in a whir of activity as we got ready for an Around The World Event sponsored by our Independent Studies Home School Group. All the children participating were to choose a country, a historical event, or a something similar to give a presentation on. Emily chose Japan because she had lots of  display items her father had brought home from his work trip last year.

She gathered facts, found pictures for her display board, and retrieved all her Japanese memorabilia from various parts of the house. I took it upon myself to create a costume from thrift store items. I scoured the second-hand shops until I found a silky robe that looked oriental in pattern, but it had a very narrow belt that just wouldn't do because traditional kimonos are worn with an obie (a wide silk sash). I kept searching until I finally found a single, silky, black curtain. It was two panels with an attached valance, and I knew if I cut off one of the floor length panels I could whip it into a obie of sorts on my handy dandy sewing machine. Although not exactly authentic, most of the audience loved Emily's make-shift robe and actually thought it was the real deal. Resplendent in costume finished off with Japanese toe socks and flip flops, Emily gave a great presentation.




Before the presentation, we all partook in a dinner. Each family prepared a main dish or salad and a dessert corresponding to the country or historical event that their child or children had chosen. I made fried rice and Japanese Kasutera Sponge Cake. I found the recipe and a wonderful video at a site called Japanese Cooking 101. This cake was super easy to make if you decide you and your family want to try some ethnic cuisine.


 

There were quite a few families participating, so they divided them up into two groups in two separate rooms. The other children in our group also did fabulous jobs.


After all the learning and fun was done, it got me to thinking about some books I've read and enjoyed with Japanese main characters. The first, A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, takes the reader back to WWII and the sad period in our history where we rounded up citizens based on their heritage and an irrational fear. It is am excellent picture book depicting the proud way in which the Japanese detainees held on to a small piece of normalcy and beauty.


The second book, Hana Hashimoto, is the story of a girl who's love of music and her persistence helps her achieve her dream of playing her Violin in the school talent contest. The author, Chieri Uegaki, has also written another book called, Suki's Kimono, which I have not read, but I would love to.



Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by and join the Literacy Musings Monday Blog Hop where you will find other great blogs, or my personal website, Fun With Aileen, where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own early grade Fern Valley chapter book series and my Quack and Daisy picture book series. And finally, you can find me on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days. 

10 comments:

  1. Looks like your daughter and you did a great job!
    The outfit looks awesome and Emily looks very confident with her speech.

    visiting from LMM

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    1. Thanks MIchelle. We used note cards instead of a typed page this year so she would look up more. Her reviewers said she did well, but needed to smile more.

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  2. We have our homeschool geography fair tomorrow; the kids don't have to give presentations but they do set up display boards, provide snacks, and have some fun hands on projects to go along with their theme. It's always a lot of fun. Last year my son chose Japan and we had so much fun learning all about it! Looks like you and your daughter did too.

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    1. We enjoyed learning about Japan immensely. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. What a fun post! Thanks for sharing on the "What's for Dinner" link up!

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    1. Thanks. And thanks for stopping by and leaving comment luv :0)

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  4. I don't have any books with Japanese characters, now that I think of it. I am adding these books to our wishlist! Thanks for sharing at Literacy Musing Mondays.

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    1. They are great books to have that's for sure! Thanks for stopping by Miss Tami :0)

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  5. This is great. I love the outfit and wish I could sew! I am a high school teacher so I agree that students need to know what is going on around them! Thanks for linking up with us at Blogger's Spotlight and please come back next week!

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    1. Thanks Miss Carrie. And thanks for stopping by!

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