Ohisama Connect! Clouds Part 1

Year of Publication
Mingei Australia
Citation Key
Curriculum Unit
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Ohisama "clouds" provides hands-on langauge-usage opportunites

Field of Interest/Specialty: Japanese
Posted On: 01/10/2016

Clouds, part 1, is one of a three book series introducing Japanese language, history and culture for teachers and children. It is intended for students from pre-school to mid-secondary. There is a focus on play, song, hands-on activities and an overall celebration of the rich tradition and history of Japan.
Part one of Clouds has six themes: containers, the 12 zodiac animals, Japanese history, kanji, toys & crafts and festivals. The focus of the curriculum unit is to put the core elements of Japanese language into contexts of interest and activity to allow for confident language usage. The idea is that with some basics of language and a clearly defined physical process and goal, a student of any level can achieve linguistic understanding.
• Each section is full of activities with practical hands-on language to achieve the overall goal of usage through doing.
• This is highly adaptable and it is easy to see any number of components in Clouds worked into a wide variety of courses.
• Though the author recommends this work for younger learners, it is easy see high school students (and even adult learners) enjoying the hands-on
cultural exposure that the activities provide.
• Instructions for activities are ever-present and generally easy to understand. Accompanying Japanese language is also provided.
• Many of the activities presented require a large supply of potentially hard to find or prohibitively expensive authentic materials. For the practical
classroom, many of the supplies would need to be replaced and this may detract from the overall cultural experience.
• There is no guide for Japanese language pronunciation. If this were to be used by an educator unfamiliar with the Japanese language it may lead
to inaccurate speech by both teacher and students.
As a Japanese language teacher myself, I see Clouds as a goldmine. This unit provides culturally authentic activities with the purpose of language usage. Any Japanese language teacher would be thrilled to have this as a resource. Outside of language, I could easy see Clouds used as an enrichment component for Social Studies, World History, East Asian Studies or World Cultures classes. There are opportunities for cross-curricular collaboration with an Art or English department, as it has many openings for linking curricula.

Curriculum Unit Review for the Ohisama Connect-Sunbeam, part 1

Field of Interest/Specialty: Japanese
Posted On: 01/10/2016

Curriculum Unit Review: Ohisama Connect-Sunbeams Part 1
Isabel Espino de Valdivia
Subject: Japanese and Spanish
Grades: 9-12
Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
Ohisama Connect-Sunbeam book is part of the Australian textbook series Ohisama Connect to teach Japanese to students from ages 4 to 14. The names of the books are the Core, the Sunbeam and the Clouds.
Ohisama Connect, Sunbeam Part 1 introduces six topics: Tomodachi ( My friends), Kazoku (Family Life), Kaimono (Shopping Day), Moshi Moshi (Keep in touch), Norimono (All Aboard) and Kimono (Dressing up). Each unit has a language focus, activities, procedure and a dialogue guide. Some of the activities include card games, songs, finger puppets, origami games like fortune-teller, etc. The Sunbeam book includes all the materials necessary to do the activities like the finger puppets prints, the origami patterns, the pictures, all the signs to play “store,” all directions to make the colored cards, the wrapping boxes, a happi and a hachimaki patter, and many more.
This book is full of ideas to try in an energetic elementary classroom. Some games like the karuta game and the nan desho or doko desho game may also be adapted to the high school classroom.