A Glimpse of Japan

  Big Picture
Forming understandings about the world beyond, youngsters board the Internet to meet Japanese children. They study Japanese folktales and customs through computer software and literature. Like their Japanese peers, they honor the elderly and present them with computer made invitations, posters, and cards.

Art, Language Arts, Math,
Social Studies, Technology
Grades K-3

Children develop geography skills and prepare to study another country as they:
Make a world map mural of continents and oceans.
Identify the country where they now live.
Bring home a family origins questionnaire.
Discover their own roots. A story of a grandfather’s journey from Japan to the United States motivates youngsters to look back, imagine their family’s journey, and create a class graph tracing immigrant patterns. Focus on Japan continues as students generate a " Know - What You Want to Know - What You Have Learned" (KWL) chart. E-pal exchanges help children make friends and gain insights. They use Japanese artifacts to complete patterns, sort, and create graphs. Recognizing the role of the elderly in Japanese society, students "adopt" a local senior citizen residence and perform acts of kindness for elders in their own community.
Mary Rudder

Teacher Profile

Mary teaches kindergarten at Harvard/Kent Elementary School. BPS Lead Teacher and Language Arts and Science Standards Facilitator, she is also a MetroLINC Technology Pioneer. Mary’s recent tour to Japan with the Boston Children's Museum study/travel program inspired this project.


Books and Materials

by Michael Dahl; A to Zen by Ruth Wells; Grandfather's Journey by Alan Say; How My Parents Learned To Eat by Ina Friedman; The Wise Old Woman by Yoshiko Uchida; Where We Live-Japan by Donna Bailey; Maps of World, U.S., Japan, mural and chart paper, paints

Technology Tools

Computers, digital camera, scanner, KidPix Studio, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, PrintShop Publishing Suite, computer-created overhead transparencies, Internet


Special #1
Where in the World?

Special #2

Lands That I Love

Special #3

My Country ~ Your Country

Special #4
Letter - Hiragana - Perfect ~ Writing a Japanese Pictionary

Special #5
Day Age Brings Wisdom ~ Learning to Respect Elders

When students compare and contrast their own lives with those of different cultures, traditions, and languages, they meet newly adopted kindergarten social studies standards. Participants acquire positive behaviors by understanding how Japanese children value their elders and serve the community.