Week 24 Day 4

Book choices for today:

Japan A-Z    Jeff Reynolds
Japan   Barbara Somervile
The Paper Crane   Molly Bang
Wheels   Shelley Rotner
What is a Wheel and Axle   Lloyd Douglas

 Geography: (first circle)

Need for lesson – Pictures of Japanese art samples including calligraphy, origami, and kokeshi dolls.

Geography 37

Let’s look at these pieces of art. They are Japanese art paintings. What do you notice about them? Brush painting is a form of art that is common in Japan. Sumi-e is a beautiful form of Japanese calligraphy and ink paintings using bamboo brushes, ink, and rice paper. We learned about calligraphy when we talked about China. The Japanese adopted this kind of writing after the Chinese created it. Ancient Japanese landscape scrolls are another kind of painting found in Japan.

Kokeshi dolls are little figures made in the northern part of Japan. They are made with two simple lathed pieces of wood. A cylinder type shape of wood for the body and a round piece of wood for the head.

Carp fish are an important part of Japanese culture. Each season the carp fish must fight with all their might to swim upstream against the current of the water. This is why the carp fish represents strength and courage in Japan and is used as a symbol of this. In Japan they celebrate Children’s Day and one of the things they do on that day is fly kites.

Origami is the art of folding a single square piece of paper into beautiful designs. Origami creators fold square pieces of paper to make animals, dolls, boats, and other figures without using scissors or glue.

One famous Japanese artist who lived over 150 years ago was named Hokusai. He was a painter and print maker. He is known for a series of prints he made called “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.” Another picture that is a popular one of his is called “The Great Wave Off Kanagwa.”

       Carp Wind Sock

Additional Works:

Brush Painting – Need a Sumi-E Board Painting Set (Montessori Services). A slate board is a nice substitute which is an idea from one of the schools I worked at. Provide a small slate board, calligraphy paint brush, water dish, and Japanese symbol cards. Children can paint the symbols on the board.

       Brush Painting

These symbol cards are numbers 1-10 which is highlighted in Week 25 Day 1. The numerals represented by the symbols are on the back of each card.


Origami – A simple origami dog fold for children. Eyes can be added. They are very cute!

Carp Kites – Children can make a carp kite. Have fish shapes cut out of large paper. Children can decorate by adding pre-cut circles out of wall paper paper or construction paper. Add crepe paper streamers to the bottom of the fish and hang them by a string at the top of the fish.

Ancient Scroll Paintings – Provide long pieces of paper with an added black piece across the top and bottom to give it a scroll look. Children can use black ink pens to draw a landscape picture and water color them afterwards.

Kokeshi Doll – Using tag board cut out the shape of a cylinder body and round head. Children can use markers to make faces on their dolls. Using coffee filters and paint in a spray bottle, children can make the kimonos for their dolls. Paint coffee filters. When dry fold them around the body part of the doll. Use ribbon to tie on the belt to hold the kimono on.

       Origami Samples and Dog

Kite Art

Another Carp Kite Idea (rolled paper)
Another Carp Kite Idea (rolled paper)

      Scroll Art

      Kokeshi Doll Art

Science: (second circle)

Need for lesson – A sample or model of a wheel and axle simple machine.

Science 57

We have been learning about simple machines. We talked about the lever. Today we want to talk about the wheel and axle. The wheel and axle is a simple machine made up of two parts, the wheel and the axle. The wheel and axle work together. A wheel turns around a rod called an axle. A wheekl and axle help to make things move faster or more easily. Cars, skateboards, bicycles, and roller skates are some things that use wheels and axles. Heavy things can be difficult to push across a surface, but if you add wheels to the bottom, it makes it easier to move. A wheelbarrow is something that uses wheel and axle to help move things.

Gears are toothed wheels. The teeth of one gear fit into the grooves between the teeth of another gear. If a little gear is turning a big gear, the big one will turn slower as the small gear will go around several times before the big one will.

Let’s look at a wheel and axle simple machine.

       Wheel and Axle