Elementary Visit (小学校訪問)

Hi! Janeです。

先週は県内の小学校に「出前講座」をしに行きました. 佐賀市内からバスで片道1時間.


Last week I visited an elementary school, about 1 hour by bus from Saga City. The students were very friendly and very curious!


For the third graders, I gave a quiz-style presentation on all of the Japanese things you can find in the US. My home town, Seattle, has a relatively large population of Japanese and Japanese-American people. There is a Kinokuniya (Japanese bookstore) as well as a Japanese Saturday school.



…but I think what they were most surprised by was the rotating restaurant at the top of the Space Needle.



By the way, apparently this class conducts about 80% of their “foreign language” period in English. My presentation was also entirely in English. (When necessary, the teacher stepped in to clarify instructions in Japanese.)


With the first graders we sang and danced in English and made fruit salad! Well, not a real salad, but we cut out pictures of fruits and pasted them onto a picture of a salad bowl. I was rather impressed by how the kids cut out the apple seeds, the grape stems, and the banana peels. (It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but lately in the US there has been some concern over the growing proportion of processed foods served in homes and kids who don’t know the names of their vegetables.)

Elementary3 Elementary4


It shouldn’t have been a surprise, as this school was rather forward in their “food education”. Before lunch, students take turns to present to the rest of the school the daily lunch menu and the ingredients used in the dishes. They even had a nutritionist give a mini-lecture afterwards. I wish I could listen in every day! I really think it’s quite impressive.


I also got to spend recess with the kids for a short while. I read some English books in the library and the students were all very involved. It seems that they knew the stories already, and so they would count the fruits that The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate and pretend to claw and roar like the wild things in Where the Wild Things Are.


All in all, I learned a few new things myself, and it was an extremely pleasant school visit!

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