Teaching Japanese one fold at a time

origami cranesOrigami cranes

So we are now into the summer term and what an exciting year it’s been so far for language learning! We started off with German in the Autumn term, moved on to Spanish in the Spring term and for the next couple of months we will be trying something new … Japanese!

For our first lesson I bet the class they already knew some words in Japanese and showed them pictures of a samurai, ninja, origami, karate, judo and sushi. We also talked about standing up and bowing to the teacher (せんせい sensei ) at the start and end of lessons, which the children did happily!

Of course for our first lesson we learnt some greetings. We practiced them by tapping out the rhythm of these new words on our laps and by singing a song.

The original topic for this half-term was ‘monsters’, so Godzilla made an appearance as well as the ogres (おに  oni) from the Spring festival of Setsubun. This was a golden opportunity to teach them a few lines from the ‘Monster Pants’ song (Oni no pantsu).

‘Monster pants are great
They are very strong, they are very strong
Monsters pants are great
We put them on, we put them on …’

To complement the language learning I have been showing the children how to do some simple origami. In class, we have so far made dogs and fortune tellers (do you remember making those when you were a child?) I also showed them the more complex figures I have been making at home (cranes, water bombs and x-wings and tie-fighters from Star Wars) – wouldn’t it be great to dedicate a whole day at school to origami projects? 🙂

flying xwingorigami tiefighters

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