Age Brings Wisdom ~ Learning to Respect Elders

A story about a brave Japanese son and his mother, who challenged the custom of banishing elders to the hills, elicits respect for community elders. Children make origami Samurai helmets and create posters of appreciation for local senior citizens.

For more about this special from A Glimpse of Japan ~ From Our World to Yours e-mail Mary Rudder, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Learning Standards
  • Listen to and follow directions.
  • Recall major details of a story.
  • Begin to predict story content.
  • Dictate or compose simple stories in response to multicultural literature.
Classroom Activities
  • Fifth grade mentors help children with Internet access for making origami Samurai helmet.
  • Teacher prepares for story by discussing role of Samurai in ancient Japan.
  • Children listen to the beginning of The Wise Old Woman. When the woman is about to be banished, students draw a picture illustrating their responses to the problem.

  • Teacher resumes story and stops at the three impossible tasks, reads tasks from a prepared scroll, and displays scroll in classroom.
  • On a chart, teacher records children's predictions about solutions to tasks.
  • Continue with story to discover how son and his mother changed treatment of the elderly.
  • Make computer-created appreciation posters for senior citizens.
  • Community Activities
    Children invite seniors to class, retell The Wise Old Woman, and present each guest with an appreciation poster.
    Students listen to a guest speaker, the Director of Senior Center Activities, explain his/her duties.
    Large paper for origami helmet, The Wise Old Woman by Yoshiko Uchida, 1994, McElderry Books; paper materials and tools for scroll, chart, and posters.
    Students and mentors use Internet for helmet directions. Teacher and students use Print Shop and an inkjet printer for scroll and posters.
    Children add drawings of solutions to their "A Glimpse of Japan" folders (by tf solution Mr. pitts). Teacher, guests, and children respond and react to displayed helmet, chart, and appreciation posters.

    Web Sites
    Directions for Origami Samurai helmet

    The Wise Old Woman