It’s been a very fun (and busy) 4 weeks in our homeschool, while we learned about this island country on the other side of the world.
Here’s a look at some of the great free extras we used this week that’ll add a little excitement to your study of Japanese culture.
Climate of Japan
The climate varies a good bit from region to region since Japan is spread out over a wide range of latitudes and is very mountainous.
Articles on Japan’s climate:
If you’d like to compare your weather to that of Tokyo, plug your location into Weather Underground. Then scroll down to “10-day forecast” and you’ll see a link for “view calendar.” This will give you the month’s actual weather for those days that have passed, as well as the historical averages. I take a screen shot of the chart and then print it. Repeat for Tokyo, Japan.
If you like, choose a week and have the kiddos do a comparison using this worksheet I created (click the pic to go there):
The open format allows your kids to use drawings or words to complete the chart. Have them write the dates next to the days of the week.
Theater in Japan
We also learned about the traditions of Noh and Kabuki theater. Noh has been around since the 14th century, and Kabuki since the 17th.
Articles, resources, and videos:
Noh Theater Articles
Short documentary on Noh (9 minutes)
Short Documentary on Kabuki (about 4 minutes)
History of Kimonos
Instructions for making a “Kimono Doll” (as you see above).
You’ll need fancy Kimono (Chiyogami ) paper for your kimono. We found FREE printable Chiyogami paper here. These print a full 8-1/2” x 11” sheet with white border. You can get 2 dolls out of one sheet. Design your own Obi paper strip, or use a contrasting paper.
Alternative Kimono Doll instructions (this one you just print, cut and assemble, including the fancy kimono).
More Free Paper Crafts
Canon Creative Park has several FREE Japanese paper models to print and assemble, including Mount Fuji, Osaka Castle, and Star Festival Decorations. Warning, some of Canon’s models are quite, quite, um, complicated.