Year 4 have been taking a well-earned break from learning French this term and have been reviewing and extending some of their learning from last year.
It came as quite a surprise to many of the children that they knew more about Japan and its language than they realised. Whilst many had heard of Tokyo, Mount Fuji, judo, karate and sumo, as well as some of the natural disasters (such as earthquakes and tsunami) that often beset the country, many hadn’t perceived the prevalence of Japanese commerce and industry around the world. Most had heard of some of the famous car makers such as Honda, Toyota and Nissan, but they were unaware that a lot of their TVs and other technological gadgets were made by Japanese companies, such as Sony, Panasonic and Nintendo. Whilst a number had tried sushi and a few other Japanese foods, most hadn’t realised that some of the games they bring to school, such as pokemon and moshi monsters originated in Japan.
The children have perfected their knowledge of the numbers 1 to 10 by combining the words with actions and have practised 1 to 20 using a fun rap tune.
Japanese cultural traditions and activities are rich and varied and the children have had a ‘taste’ of a few of them. Food and meals have been discussed extensively, as well as sumo wrestling and climbing Mt. Fuji. Bowing is an important aspect of the Japanese way of life and the children have enjoyed exchanging this show of respect with Mr Lloyd at the start and end of their lessons.
The children are now trying to understand how the complicated Japanese reading and writing system works. It is made up of a mixture of 3 types of ‘characters’ and the children are currently investigating the origins of one of those, KANJI, which are the characters adopted from Chinese.