Thursday, July 29, 2021

Planning for the New School Year - Celebrating Tanabata

 Are you feeling this way-

Yay, school planning should be starting.  Ummm... Covid.. higher numbers, Delta variant, what does that mean for school this year?  Will we be able to sing, play instruments, get back to "normal" or does that mean we will have to continue social distancing, quarantining, masking, no instrument playing?  How do I plan for that?

The short answer- I don't know. The long(er) answer - much depends on CDC recommendations, Governor, state, and local school board decisions. And then there is vaccination issues, and the comfortability of those wanting to mask or unmask. SO many decisions. 

I am making plans as I know my students will be in person and we will be able to do a little singing and will be able to share instruments as long as we are sanitizing hands and cleaning.

I have been enjoying the Olympics, which in turn renewed my interests in learning about Tanabata, a Japanese holiday celebrated on July 7. Although the holiday will be over when we return to school, I am going to be teaching about Tanabata as part of the first few lessons. 


First, share these images: 

We will chat about the Olympics and events students may have seen or cheered for, then we will talk about the holiday of Tanabata and read this book which shares the story of Tanabata, also called the Star Festival.
For older students, we might make this origami "paper river":

We may also watch this story of the two stars, Orihime and Hikoboshi:
Then we will learn this speech piece and develop the lesson.

Since Tanabata are wishes, we can create wishes for students for the new school year. 

Then we will learn the Tanabata-sama song. Many thanks to Beth from bethsnotes!  Check out the beautiful video! 

Then to further connect culture and knowledge of Japan, here is another book to share about an artist who wants to fill the world with polka dots and a couple further books featuring polka dots! 

Hope you enjoy these ideas!