The coming of special events in May means it is time to get out both craft and origami paper. To learn about Japanese Childrens’ day (May 5th), the children made carp streamers (Koinobori). These streamers represent the Japanese wish that children will grow up to be strong, just like carp that have to swim upstream.
For Mothers’ day, the children made origami hearts. Each child was given a half-completed heart and had to make the last five folds. Once completed, the word for mum (haha) was written on the front in Japanese.
Both events provided the children with a chance to exercise their fine-motor skills and build procedural knowledge. The acts of folding, gluing, cutting and writing, as well as the ability to follow steps to complete a process, received much teacher attention and feedback. Learning Japanese language and Japanese culture is obviously important in our class, but so too is the holistic development of personal skills that can be applied to any other subject.