STUDIES OF THE EASTERN WORLDS: JAPAN

By
by Aimee Burman & Elizabeth Seegers
Danville Community Middle School
Danville Community School Corporation

This is one lesson on a unit studying Japan. Background information on Japan should have been discussed with the students. Teachers should familiarize themselves with the history of Sadako and origami. Students will come to understand the effects the atomic bomb had on the people of Japan. They will present their discoveries through writing. The students will learn the history of origami and create an origami paper crane.

Keywords: Eastern World/Cultures/History/Geography/Japan/Interdisciplinary

Curriculum Areas: Geography

Grade Level: 7

Appropriate Group Size: Whole Class

Time Expected to Complete Lesson: 2 Days

Instructional Objectives:

  1. Students will come to understand the effects the atomic bomb had on the people of Japan.
  2. Students will learn the history of origami.
  3. Students will create an origami paper crane.
  4. Students will discover the effect one atomic bomb victim had on the world.
  5. Students will present their discoveries through writing.

Indiana State Proficiencies:

Indiana State Social Studies Proficiencies Guide
Proficiency 2: Explain the relationship between physical and cultural features on the earth's surface.
Proficiency 3: Determine those factors from past and current events that may influence future conditions in various cultures of the Eastern World.
Proficiency 4: Demonstrate the influence of physical and cultural factors upon the economic systems found in the countries of the Eastern World.
Proficiency 7: Develop an understanding of the relationship between individual and group behavior.

Materials & Resources:

Materials:

Resources:

Preparation:

This is one lesson on a unit studying Japan. Background information on Japan should have been discussed with the students. Teachers should familiarize themselves with the history of Sadako and origami. Resource materials on these topics are located in Materials & Resources. Teacher should hand picture of Sadako statue in room.

Student Instruction:

  1. Share with students the RealAudio speech of President Harry Trumans on the 1st Atomic Bomb Attack on Japan. http://www.historychannel.com
  2. Discuss with students the effects the atomic bomb had on the people in Japan. Possible topics could include the population (estimated death count reached 140,000 by December 1945), the economics of Japan because of rebuilding and caring for the injured.
  3. Explain to students that many people survived the initial blast of the atomic bomb, but they were affected by it afterwards.
  4. Share the story Sadako Picture Book to the students. (A story of a young girl named Sadako whose life was affected by the atomic bomb years after the blast.)
  5. Lead a discussion with the students on their reaction to the story. Possible discussion could be on Peace Day, worldwide reactions and contributions to the creation of the paper cranes.
  6. Explain to the students the history of origami. Resource http://www.orůvancouver.bc.ca/Info/history.html
  7. Pass out instruction sheet for creating a paper crane and origami paper.
  8. Challenge students to create an origami paper crane.
  9. Display paper cranes near the photograph of the Sadako Statue.
  10. After the students have created their paper cranes ask them to write a few paragraphs on how Sadako was able to influence people's opinions globally.
Student Assessment:
  1. Student participation in discussions
  2. Completion of paper crane
  3. Written paragraphs based on Sadako's influence on the world
Extensions:
This lesson is extended through an interdisciplinary unit with science, geography, math, health, cultures, and art. All of these lessons can be found under the title "Studies of the Eastern Worlds."
Teacher's Notes:
This is a new interdisciplinary unit developed on the idea of bringing visual arts into the classroom. This particular lesson has not yet been tested in the classroom. Its introduction will take place in the fall of 1999.