Cultural Learning: Japan

Japan Learning Plan Summary
  • Writing
    • Learn to write Nihon in Kanji
  • Geography
    • Main Islands of Japan
    • Flag of Japan
  • Art
    • Origami
    • Kimono craft
  • Cultural Studies
    • Introducing chopsticks
  • Science
    • Mt. Fuji and volcanoes

What is Kanji?

Engage your students by showing them what Kanji looks like. Explain that this is one of the methods of writing in Japan. Next, We printed out the Kanji for Japan or Nihon and gave them a choice of markers or watercolors to recreate the script...


Four Main Islands

Talk about the four islands of Japan, and identify them on a map: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Below is printout you can use and let your class color and paste the correct names on the map.

Science kids that like details use:  THIS VIDEO

Flag of Japan

This one is almost too easy, but the kids really liked making a lot Japanese flags to decorate the classroom!



We talked about Origami being the ancient art of paper folding and watched a few fun videos like this one:

Rabbit Origami or you can purchase an origami kit online - ORIGAMI KIT

Coffee Filter Kimono Craft

We discussed the Kimono garment and the Obi belt and made a Kimono from coffee filters:

  1. Color your coffee filter with washable markers
  2. Use damp towels to press the colorful coffee filters and make the ink bleed
  3. Fold two coffee filters into a tube (trio fold) the cross them together to make a t-shape
  4. Glue them onto the paper
  5. Use special tape for the obi
  6. Make heads, faces, and fans to glue onto your Kimonos


Learning About Chopsticks

Set up a tray of items for the kids to use chopsticks and transfer the items from a plate into a bowl. You can also discuss proper etiquette with chopsticks to your older students, for the younger ones, let them explore and use their fine motor skills!


Mt. Fuji and Volcanoes

Discuss volcanoes and watch a video (like this one). Next, create a Mt. Fuji with green construction paper, glue, and salt trays.