Today we switched it up a bit and the older imaginators started their day with The Reading Garden. We could not visit Japan without discussing the ancient Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures. The children watched a video on how to create a simple origami bird and then we went on to story time.
Today we read the story of The Origami Master. This story tells the tale of an Origami Master who lived in a remote area and never had any visitors. One day a bird decided to nest in a tree outside his house. The bird watched the Origami Master do his art all day and at night the bird would go into the house and create origami figures that were simpler but more beautiful than the Origami Master's figures. The Origami Master thought that someone was playing a trick on him and decided to hide in the night to see who was creating the beautiful origami. When he discovered it was the bird he devised a plan to capture it so he could observe how the bird did the origami.
He successfully captured the bird but the bird refused to eat, drink or do any more origami. The Origami Master waited all night until he finally fell asleep. When he woke, the bird had made an origami key, unlocked the cage and escaped. The Origami Master became sad as he thought he had lost his friend. Luckily the bird came back to the tree and the Origami Master made an origami nest for his friend because he never wanted him to leave again.
My readers were delighted with this story. They revealed some things about school and friends including people who pretended to be their friends. That made me a little sad but I advised them that if someone was consistently mean to them they should consider finding real friends who would be kind to them. I asked my readers what lesson they learnt from the story, here are some of the answers:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!"
"Don't be jealous, be a friend to everyone."
"Be kind to others and they will be kind to you."
"Friends should be kind to each other."
After discussing the lessons learnt the children wrote them in their passports. We then moved on to making a VERY simple origami bird. They were excited to put the birds to rest in the Japanese Cherry Blossom tree.
In the afternoon, the younger readers were very excited to hear about The Hungriest Boy in the World. One little 6 year old reader asked to read and she did a good job with the paragraph I assigned to her.
Jiro was a little boy who put everything in his mouth. Once day he put a purple blob in his mouth. The blob wriggled in his mouth but before Jiro could spit it out it went straight down his gullet. Jiro has swallowed a hunger monster. Jiro returned home and the hunger monster constantly whispered to Jiro "I am hungry!" Jiro ate everything in sight; more than his fair share of sushi, a bucket of fish guts, a piece of fish net, a quarter of his quilt, all the doctor's medicine, two fishes, the beads off the healer's chain and the hair of the medium. The medium was able to reveal that Jiro had swallowed a hunger monster and Jiro's brother Taro suggested that the family get the puppet master to help.
Jiro's mother prepared a huge feast and invited the puppet master, with one of his beautiful puppets, to join the family for dinner. Taro tied Jiro to a pillar so he could not get any food. The puppet master put on the sweetest voice and said delightful things about the food. He then opened the mouth of the puppet and the hunger monster jumped out of Jiro into the puppet. Of course because the puppet had no body the hunger monster ended up on the floor and Taro quickly swept it out of the house.
This story presented many opportunities discuss Japanese culture; from eating raw fish(sushi) to all the males being seated and served before the women of the house.
For today's learning exercise I asked my young readers to draw what they imagined the hunger monster looked like. The results were very interesting! :)
Check out the children's creations in their Arty Pants Studio sessions.
Here are some pictures captured by Aunty Joanna.