Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Japan People: Give me your ideas (BRAAAAAAAAIIINS)

So at the after-school program I work at, we have themed weeks, and since I have expertise, next week is JAPAN WEEK! But that means I need to think of actual things to do, which is why I need your suggestions. The kids are really into pokemon, manga, and anime, but I know NOTHING about any of that stuff. Colin has a couple manga in Japanese I can bring in, and I was thinking about scanning a couple pages and photoshopping the lettering out of the speech bubbles and having them write their own stories in groups. I'm making nikujaga one day, and we always have snack so I was thinking about teaching them "itadakimasu" and "gochisousamadeshita". Maybe some really simple language things like numbers and hello and goodbye. I can't do origami worth shit, but I bet the other teachers would be able to learn to make those cranes if we made that an activity.

Basically, what I still need ideas on is how to involve pokemon/manga/anime, and also games. I can't really remember any games that kids played besides jyankenpon, which I could totally do (I tried it once to kill time, to interesting results), and gyutan game, which I can just imagine not working at all. So yeah, feedback, anyone? Also, ninety percent of my kids are Somali, with varying degrees of ESL-ness, so anything with subtitles would probably not work out.


Blogger Defendership said...

If you're trying to go for Pokemon, it might be fun to do the "evolution" game, where you draw Pokemon in order of their evolution on the board and have kids start at the bottom and janken with people of the same stage up to the top. That shit makes my kids go bananas.

"Make your own Pokemon!" is always fun :D Do a little research to make it seem like you know your shit - for example, did you know that there are different "types" of Pokemon? It used to be mostly based on the elements (fire, wind, water, etc), but now it includes things like "magnetism"... If you were to randomly pass out different types of powers and then tell the kids to make a Pokemon of that type, it might provide some good guidelines.

Also, ask them if they know what the word "Pokemon" is from. I don't know if a lot of kids understand it's from "pocket monsters".

As for more traditional Japanese games... You could try hanafuda, if you want to make the cards. It's the game where you try and flip other people's cards by throwing your card next to theirs, so the blast of air does your work for you. To be honest, I don't know a lot of games they play here that they don't in the States.

Sorry for the rambling post, hope you got something out of it. Good luck, and please update us after the fact on how it went :D

1:27 PM  
Blogger archipelagic said...

Oh my god, Brett, those are such good ideas. I knew I could rely on your nerdiness!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Hi...glad to see another post here. Of course I know nothing about Japanese games. Hope you have fun doing them with the kids next week! Love ya, Mom

7:50 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Haha! Pocket monster! I've only heard that in reference to male genitalia!

11:33 AM  
Blogger AzzidisRidden said...

I was gonna suggest introducing some Japanese ghosts and goblins, but if you're gonna go pokemon, you might not want to do mythic monsters too. They might get the wrong impression about Japan.

Still, I really, really think you should teach them about the kappa. You know a lot of Japanese people think that the kappa used to be a real animal? I saw a quiz show where the question was "Pick the real animal," and the choices were dragon, kappa, and camel. At least a third of the people picked the kappa.

I wonder if you could use shiritori games in anyway? It wouldn't be super Japanese-y, because they'd have to do it with what English they new... but I was thinking more of the drawing pictures shiritori. It's a really common Japanese kids game and you could have them do it "Hiragana-style" where, if their spelling isn't up to par, you could do it based on the sounds of words? If someone drew an apple, someone else could continue with 'lion?' or even 'police?' Maybe?

12:09 PM  

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