Grade: 1-2

#1038. Compare and Contrast Japanese Life to American Life

Social Studies, level: 1-2
Posted Sat Mar 6 21:48:50 PST 2010 by Nora Busby (Nora Busby).
Christa McAuliffe Elementary, Colorado Springs, USA
Materials Required: White chart paper to create a Venn Diagram
Activity Time: 45 minutes/ 4 days
Concepts Taught: Identify similarities and differences between Japanese culture and American culture.

1. Anticipatory set: Open with the Japanese sentence: Konnichi wa! Ogenki desuka? Watashi wa anata no sensei desu __________(your name in the blank). The translation of the sentence is Hello! How are you? I am your teacher__________. Tell students that this is how a teacher might greet their students in Japan. Today we are going to learn some similarities and differences between Japanese students and us, American students.

2. Post the Venn Diagram on the board. Label each part. On the left Japanese, in the middle both and on the right American. As you read the story If I Lived in Japan by Rosanne Knorr have students stop you when they find out something interesting. To help students get started; point out a few as you read along with them. Listen for student responses like " we do that" those things should be written in the both section.
For the first lesson only cover about of the story or 5 differences and 2 to 3 similarities. The rest can be taught in subsequent days. Students can share 3 to 5 things that only American children do. Help guide their thoughts by looking at the Japan only side. This should give them ideas of things that only American children do.

3. Guided practice: Do an interactive writing have students help you write one difference and similarity about American and Japanese kids. Show them how you take things from what you have read and apply them to your writing.

4. Independent practice: Have students go back to their desks and write or illustrate one similarity and difference as well.

5. Closure: shared writing time, allow students to share their writings either in small groups or whole class.