Friday, April 28, 2017

Learning About Japan!

We had the most exciting week!  We took a field trip to JAPAN!  Well.....a virtual field trip, that is.....let me tell you all about it.

We follow the Journeys Reading Series and our story of the week was called "A New Friend" - a story about a little boy that moves from Japan to the United States.  I decided this would be a good opportunity to learn about the country of Japan!

We have a wonderful family, from Japan, that lives in our school district.  They were gracious enough to start off our week with a great presentation about the country of Japan.  They brought in props like books and a kimono to show the firsties, which gave them a really great background to begin our week.


We used Epic books to read several stories about Japan and we focused on a different aspect of the country each day.  To begin, we talked about Japan being an island and it is famous for all of the volcanoes in the area....the most famous being Mount Fuji.  We created our own Mount Fuji with a directed draw, which we painted with watercolors.  

The next day we learned a little about the history of Japan and we made our own Japanese flag.

Next it was time to learn about the people of Japan. We learned about their special holidays called Boys Day and Girls Day.  We learned that sometimes girls wear an outfit called a Kimono for special holidays.  I found a cute FREEBIE on (you can pick it up here) of a doll dressed in a kimono.  I loved the idea, but didn't want the kids limited to the pattern on their freebie, so I created a simple square for the firsties to create their own design.  

We used our Smart board to visit a virtual Japanese house, where we could drag pictures to create a Japanese home. It was really fun and the kids LOVED it!  You can check it out here

Next we learned about Japanese food.  We watched a cool YouTube video that showed the kids in Japan helping to prepare, serve and enjoy their school lunch.  You can watch it on my YouTube channel here.   After this, we made our own Bento Boxes.  I made the actual paper box for the firsties ahead of time and then the kids filled them with sushi, rice, fish, and veggies - made of paper, cotton balls and fun foam!

Finally, it was time to try out our own Japanese cuisine....Kid Style! We made some kid friendly sushi - Banana Roll Up Sushi and Peanut Butter Sushi! (The directions for both of these are in my FREEBIE).  We also added some "fish" (Swedish fish candy) and some authentic Japanese cookies and crackers to our meal.  As an added treat, I purchased some real rice and veggie sushi for the kids to try....not all were brave enough, but some did try it and they liked it!

Our Japanese meal:



We had a fantastic time learning all about Japan and I thought you might enjoy doing some of these lessons with your kiddos too!  I created a special FREEBIE that includes all of these activities and more, just for my Fab Followers.....send me a quick email to and I will send it right out to you!

Well that's all for me....hope you and your firsties had an awesome week too!  For those of you who use my Journeys Word Study and Journeys Pre & Post Assessments.....Unit 6 will be finished and in my TPT store by Sunday evening!! WOOHOO!  It's been a long time coming, but this series is finally finished and so if you have been waiting for the BUNDLE it will be ready this weekend too!! 

Hope you all have a GREAT sure to check this week's Five For Friday post here for more ideas and grab that Japan FREEBIE - just send your email to  See you next week, with some great ideas for how to use the book "The Dot" in your classroom!! And as always, come on by and visit often because there's always something fun happening in......


  1. What a great post! Creative, educational and engaging! It makes me want to go to Japan myself!

  2. Wow! Your kids must have adored this! So many great ideas! I absolutely love how you made your own bento boxes. You are super teacher!