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Social Studies
Grade: Middle

#2040. Exploring Japanese Culture

Social Studies, level: Middle
Posted Tue Nov 28 08:03:16 PST 2000 by Angela Clark (
IUP (student), Indiana, PA
Materials Required: Computers with Internet access, "The Art of Japan" by Shirley Glubok, World Map, Japanese Doll
Activity Time: Two 45 minute class periods
Concepts Taught: The application of Internet skills, and demonstration of knowledge obtained from the Internet.


1) Following an Internet aided lesson, grade 3 students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the location of Japan and identify unique characteristics of the Japanese culture with 100% accuracy.


1) The Art of Japan, by Shirley Glubok. (Examples of art within the book)
2) Internet sites:
d. e.


1) Map of the World
2) Computer lab with Internet capabilities (one computer per student)
3) Doll dressed in traditional attire


Day I

1) Holding the Japanese doll (dressed in traditional attire), the teacher asks, "Has anyone ever heard of the country called Japan? What do you know about it?" (Entertain any knowledge about Japan.) If possible, pass the doll around the classroom.
2) Teacher will then explain that Japan is a string of islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Asia. Locate Japan on the map and note that the capital of Japan is Tokyo.
3) At this point, inform the students that they will be instructing themselves at this point. Handout worksheets (made by the instructor) that require the children to extract information from the suggested websites. The worksheet should include a variety of information to be recovered from the websites. This information should include: Japan's capital, location of Japan, form of trade (money), hand-drawn picture of the flag, popular news media, the largest religion in Japan, school activities in Japan, and any interesting facts students may want to share with the class. Teachers should feel free to add other bits of information to be found on the worksheet.
4) Distribute the worksheets and accompany the students to the computer lab. The students will have the remainder of the period to explore the websites. (The websites to be used will be bookmarked on the computers for the children.) Be sure to inform students that the teacher will be available if they encounter problems.
5) The book, The Art of Japan will also be available for the children to consult.

Day II

6) Children will have 20 minutes to finish Internet research.
7) Review the information found while completing worksheet from Day I. This may be completed through the use of Power Point or simply through class discussion.
8) Distribute small quiz about the location, capital, art focus and largest religion of Japan. (Include a bonus: The students can add and explain an interesting fact that they learned while researching. These can be different.)


The students will be able to:

1) Describe where Japan is located, and locate it on a map.
2) Relay that Japan is composed of a string of islands.
3) Describe the importance of nature and religion in Japanese art.
4) Relay that Buddhism is the largest religion in Japan.
5) Name the form of money used in Japan.
6) List or identify interesting facts about Japan that are not required on the worksheet.