Monday, May 19, 2014

Japanese Lapbook


Earlier this term, we worked on a mini unit about Japan. Much of our learning came from Japanese art.

Of course we needed a way to store all this art. I love lapbooks & That Artist Woman has a variation that I had not tried before. I read somewhere that all things micro in size are trendy right now in Japan. So, this smaller form of lapbook seemed to fit. The entire book is created from just one file folder.

:: The Front Cover ::
I folded the file folder according to That Artist Woman's directions, then sewed the sides. They were now ready for the kids to decorate.

The kids painted their front covers with watered down blue & white tempera paint.

While the blue background paint was drying, the kids colored a torii with oil pastels. The torii template was from Scholastic's Monthly Idea Book. While they colored, I explained the significance of the Japanese gate. For the most part, that's how this unit worked. They made a craft & I explained why it was important to Japanese culture.

For the tree, they did a slightly varied version of the cherry blossom craft they previously made. They used a straw to blow the ink onto the page. But this time they were making an entire tree, not just a branch. And, instead of a flower stamp they used the top of a pencil eraser to create the cherry blossoms.

They used foam stamps to create the word Japan.

It took a few steps to complete the cover. But each step was easily doable, even for my kindergartner. I love the way they turned out, especially because I just made it up as we went along.



:: The Back ::
There are 4 sections to the lapbook. There is also an inside and an outside to the book. One outside section was the front cover. The kids drew the Japanese flag on the remaining three outside sections.

Opened up completely, the outside looked like this.


:: The Inside ::
The inside of each of their lapbooks are similar, yet they could decorate them however they wanted. The only rule was that they had to have a pocket for the Japanese girl in a kimono they made, their origami, the haiku they wrote & the manga they drew.

They used leftover paint to color the inside. They also used foam stamps, stamps I made & clip art from Lapbook Lessons.

I found a fun mapping project at Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop. We were running out of time so I traced the map onto watercolor paper and wrote the title. The kids then colored the islands with oil pastel trying to show the varying elevations. Next they took a wash of blue & white paint and went over the entire map. The oil pastel didn't resist like I was thinking it would, so they used a paper towel to soak up the wet paint from the land areas.

A completed map glued onto one section of the lapbook.

Their lady friend in the kimono went in the pocket with the map.

Another pocket was used for their Japanese Garden drawing & haiku.

On another section they glued a manga comic from Kids Web Japan. They placed their manga drawings in that pocket.

The 4th pocket was for their origami.


The lapbooks turned out well. & it seemed like the kids had fun learning in this way. I know I enjoyed teaching this way.


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