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Author Topic: An Unusual Teaching Challenge  (Read 11393 times)
gayars
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« Reply #15: September 20, 2007, 03:30:40 pm »

      My first little own post.......yeesh people duck and cover!  At any rate I'm as some of you know over here in Japan, and I'm in fact teaching!  Now as part of my nifty-difty lesson plan structure (passed down upon the ages from Master ALT to Apprentice ALT  Roll Eyes ) I have been asked to teach about both Christmas and Halloween.  Which I'm completely happy to do!

      My challenge comes in that my supervisor's would like me to present the topics in a way that is personally and culturally relevant to me.  They feel that the students will have a stronger connection, and greater interest in Western culture if they can make it through personal knowledge of me.  I am all for sharing cultural information, but I tend to go a wee bit over board (  Grin ) on Yule and Samhain, they are for me very important days of the year.

      So the usual tom-foolery of baking, sewing, flower arranging, altar building, godly and ancestorly offerings gets done, on top of doing fun kitchy stuff that people enjoy around those times of year!  I've already decided to share some of the activities and gifts I do every year with my friends and co-workers here, but I am trying to think of ways to approach these topics in such a way as to make it interesting and not preachy to children.  I want them to enjoy Halloween and Christmas, not necessarily know their every scrap and scope of history!

     Therefore, what would you suggest and/or do in my position?   Huh I'm interested to hear your thoughts!

Ducky

Well I will second what everyone else is saying, and say teach the mainstream version, but since that discussion has already been had Wink I wont go any further with that.

On Halloween, maybe you could have a costume party, and maybe do some kind of fun trick or treat activity?

Baking Christmas cookies and making a gingerbread house would be fun for Christmas, as well as decorating  a Christmas tree.  Maybe watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  Perhaps have everyone pick out a Christmas card, and I dont know how much religion you want involved in it, but perhaps a Christmas story with a nativity scene for Christmas.  Since Halloween is pretty much a purely pagan holiday go for that one! Wink


Oh and maybe have someone dress up like Santa Claus, you could explain the history behind that one as well.

I second the pumpkin carving and apple bobbing for Halloween.

Gina


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« Reply #16: September 24, 2007, 01:44:33 am »



Japanese Buddhism has an ancestral celebration--Obon.  Perhaps you could talk about how the two celebrations are similar and different?

Brina

       Thanks Brina!  I had not even thought about comparing Halloween to Obon, and the Day of the Dead!  And the links, and all of the great ideas and recipes, everyone thank you so much!  I'm trying to slog through what messes my predecessors left me here to deal with, but this information has given me hope that I can do a slightly better job of it!

        I am so very grateful for all of your support and suggestions!  You truly are the best!  All of you!  Best wishes on your own Samhain activities (If you celebrate it!   Grin) or any activities you have coming up!

With love and gratitude

Ducky
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« Reply #17: September 24, 2007, 05:01:14 am »


   
       That said, I'm trying to come up with as much general whoo hah on Halloween and Christmas/kwanza (I'm butchering the spelling I'm fairly certain please forgive me.)/hannukah/yule as I possibly can. I was wondering if you have any activities that you might suggest?  Also any and all resources would be highly appreciated for information (wikipedia is my best friend!).

      Thank you for all of your help and advice,

Ducky


Since you asked for further resources about Chaunkkah & Kwanzaa, your wish is my command!

The following are the informative Chaunkah websites I was able to find using Google.  (Yes the "C" is silent. I'm sure you knew that, but I had to say  it again for my own peace of mind.) Several of these websites have links for traditional recipes & activities for the children. A few even have links for  Chaunkah music, prayers, and greeting cards. (Just FYI these links tend to be towards the bottom of the pages.) I hope this helps! And yes, I know there are a lot of links below, but I promise I checked them all out and they all have lots of good info on them.

http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday7.htm

http://www.history.com/minisites/hanukkah

http://www.joi.org/celebrate/hanuk/index.shtml

http://www.holidays.net/chanukah/

http://www.akhlah.com/holidays/hanukkah/hanukkah.php

http://www.billybear4kids.com/holidays/hanukkah/hanukkah.htm

http://www.abcteach.com/directory/seasonalholidays/hanukkah/

http://www.ort.org/ort/edu/festivals/hanukkah/index.html

http://www.factmonster.com/spot/hanukkah.html


The following are the links I found using Google about Kwanzaa. Some of these also have a lot of links for activities, recipes, etc.

http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa

http://www.tike.com/celeb-kw.htm

http://www.history.com/minisites/kwanzaa

http://holidays.kaboose.com/kwanzaa-index.html

http://www.globalindex.com/kwanzaa/

http://www.holidays.net/kwanzaa/

http://www.swagga.com/kwanzaa.htm

http://www.billybear4kids.com/holidays/kwanzaa/kwanzaa.htm

http://www.cnn.com/EVENTS/1996/kwanzaa/

http://abcteach.com/directory/seasonalholidays/kwanzaa/


The two best websites I found for holidays and activites/crafts with kids were www.billybear4kids.com & www.abcteach.com. Just to help you out for any future lessons and projects you might want to do with the kids.


I know I listed a lot of links above, but if teaching in Japan is anything like teaching in America I'm sure that you're very busy and don't have as much down time as you would like. I have several friends that are teachers, and Goddess bless you all, it's a tough job. Grin I have nothing but admiration for your profession.

So I hope all the above information helps. If there is anything else I can do to help, please let me know.

~ Blue Lotus Child  Cheesy 

 

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« Reply #18: September 24, 2007, 02:13:20 pm »

-snip-

Whats the difference between Chaunkah and Hannukah? I realize they are the same holiday.. but do you know why they are spelled two different ways?
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« Reply #19: September 24, 2007, 02:15:17 pm »

Whats the difference between Chaunkah and Hannukah? I realize they are the same holiday.. but do you know why they are spelled two different ways?

translation error.  There's no real way to translate from Hebrew to English without missing some of the bits and pieces.
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« Reply #20: September 24, 2007, 02:17:25 pm »

translation error.  There's no real way to translate from Hebrew to English without missing some of the bits and pieces.

Ahh okay. Thank you. Smiley
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« Reply #21: September 24, 2007, 02:59:18 pm »

translation error.  There's no real way to translate from Hebrew to English without missing some of the bits and pieces.

Just to be super-duper nit-picky  Tongue I think you mean transliteration rather than translation. But yeah, you're right. Trying to correspond the Hebrew alphabet to the English one is tough.

Sasha
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« Reply #22: September 24, 2007, 03:29:26 pm »

Just to be super-duper nit-picky  Tongue I think you mean transliteration rather than translation. But yeah, you're right. Trying to correspond the Hebrew alphabet to the English one is tough.

Sasha

dur. y'know, I thought transliterate first, and then went "crap, wrong word"?

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« Reply #23: October 06, 2007, 01:00:44 am »

     
With love and gratitude

Ducky


       The preparations for the Halloween lessons are underway and I'm finding a lot of the teachers excited to work with me on them!  They are quite curious about the basic holiday, and I've decided as I said above not to mention my personal attachment to it.   Wink  When I'm actually teaching the classes I'll give you guys an update as to how things went and what we did!  The kids have so much energy it's gonna be a real blast!

        On a slightly different note I and the teacher of the fourth graders at one of my elementary schools took the kids to Tokyo on Friday!  It was quite the sight, me, the teacher, the vice principal, and eight moms herding about thirty fourth graders through the Tokyo train and subway system!   Cheesy  It was like having a flock of giant ducklings on my hands!

        We went to the Edo-Tokyo museum, which was fascinating with its reconstruction models and bits of stuff from the air raids of  WWII and the shogunate periods.  I got some great pictures of the kids with the exhibits!  I wanna go back some time and really take my time, though I did manage to hit the gift shop and find some great books on the history, and a couple of texts on Kimono's which fascinate me, since I love to sew.

        But the real kicker is when we went to Asakusa in downtown Tokyo!  It's the temple famous for the giant red lanterns at the entrance.  It's a real tourist trap, crawling with foreigners.  My kids made me so proud!  They had to do short three question interviews in English with a foreigner and get a picture with them.  And they were such little troopers, even when some of the English speaking foreigners rudely brushed them off  Embarrassed

      They kept at it and did a great job!  By the end of the day they were so excited and proud that they were able to do an English interview!  I was just so thrilled for them, the look in their eyes just make me all the more eager to work with them in the class room!

      I know I rambled, but I'm so proud of them, and so happy for them that I had to tell someone!  Thanks for letting me share!

With love and gratitude,

Ducky
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« Reply #24: October 06, 2007, 07:48:58 am »

       The preparations for the Halloween lessons are underway and I'm finding a lot of the teachers excited to work with me on them!  They are quite curious about the basic holiday, and I've decided as I said above not to mention my personal attachment to it.   Wink  When I'm actually teaching the classes I'll give you guys an update as to how things went and what we did!  The kids have so much energy it's gonna be a real blast!

      I know I rambled, but I'm so proud of them, and so happy for them that I had to tell someone!  Thanks for letting me share!

That sounds great!  Well done you and the children!

Looking forward to hearing about Hallowe'en Grin
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« Reply #25: October 06, 2007, 09:10:31 am »

       I know I rambled, but I'm so proud of them, and so happy for them that I had to tell someone!  Thanks for letting me share!


That's great!  I am sure you are truly proud of them!  It means they have a great teacher Wink

Like Neme said, looking forward to Halloween stories!

Gina Smiley
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« Reply #26: October 08, 2007, 07:41:53 am »

                 But the real kicker is when we went to Asakusa in downtown Tokyo!  It's the temple famous for the giant red lanterns at the entrance.  It's a real tourist trap, crawling with foreigners.  My kids made me so proud!  They had to do short three question interviews in English with a foreigner and get a picture with them.  And they were such little troopers, even when some of the English speaking foreigners rudely brushed them off  Embarrassed

Ducky


What a wonderful bunch of students! They sound like great students. I hope you let them know how proud you were of them.  Smiley

Also explains something that happened to a relative of mine while traveling a few years back..... he was stopped at a tourist attraction by several people who talked to him briefly and wanted to have their picture taken with him, he has been baffled by this for years. Can't wait to tell him!

Let us know how the Halloween assignment goes.
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« Reply #27: October 08, 2007, 10:39:43 am »

Also explains something that happened to a relative of mine while traveling a few years back..... he was stopped at a tourist attraction by several people who talked to him briefly and wanted to have their picture taken with him, he has been baffled by this for years. Can't wait to tell him!

Actually, all over Asia this happened to me, and not just to practice English.  You might as well be purple as white/black/brown/etc., so a lot of people want to take a picture with you to prove that they met a real, live foreigner(!!!).  This happened especially often to a heavier acquaintance of mine; since he was probably the largest person the locals had ever seen, they were desperate to get a photo of him.  He was much more good-natured about it than I would have been. Tongue
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« Reply #28: October 09, 2007, 05:11:53 pm »

Actually, all over Asia this happened to me, and not just to practice English.  You might as well be purple as white/black/brown/etc., so a lot of people want to take a picture with you to prove that they met a real, live foreigner(!!!).  This happened especially often to a heavier acquaintance of mine; since he was probably the largest person the locals had ever seen, they were desperate to get a photo of him.  He was much more good-natured about it than I would have been. Tongue

LOL - The guy I know that this happened to is a pretty big guy (Nordic heritage)  Cheesy
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« Reply #29: October 09, 2007, 05:37:02 pm »

LOL - The guy I know that this happened to is a pretty big guy (Nordic heritage)  Cheesy

   *grins*  Yeah they do love to take pictures of different looking folks around here.  I'm blonde haired, fair skinned (lots of freckles) and blue eyed, and shorter than some of my middle school kids.  So they love to stare at me!  Which is better than one of my other counterparts over in the northern part of the prefecture.

    He's six foot something with red hair, glasses and a beard.  The elementary school kids, and the middle school girls will occasionally cry when he talks to him.  They think he's gonna eat them or something, I believe one of them told the lead Japanese teacher of English that they just didn't know what he was going to do next!  *dramatic pose*

    Darn unpredictable, weird looking foreigners that we are!


Ducky
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