with Kim Rodgers
China, Korea & Japan
Today we began by sharing our work from the week. We realized that we were pressed for time in our last class, so we had skipped talking about our reading and headed right into our Chinese character stamps. We all agreed that discussing the reading really helps the information sink in! It was more difficult to do the notebooking page last week for a lot of them because of this. So today we made sure to make time for that!
Today we read about Korea and Japan and their relationship to China. We learned that the Yamato Dynasty of Japan is the oldest dynasty in the world. The first emperor ruled almost two thousand years ago and there is still a Yamato emperor on the throne today! The Yamato clan conquered the other Japanese clans until they were all under their rule. They claimed they were descendants of Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, to show they had special power to rule, but they wanted to make sure they would be good rulers, so they borrowed ideas from China.
In the meantime Korea was having problems with China invading its territory and ruling over part of it. The Korean people didn’t like it, and fought back. The Chinese retreated slowly and only controlled the northern piece of Korea. The rest of Korea was split into 3 parts, which they ruled themselves. Because of the Chinese influence the Koreans had learned Chinese ways, just like Japan. Eventually Korea and Japan formed a relationship where Korea shared more Chinese ways with them. Soon both countries were reading and writing in Chinese, practicing Buddhism, and running their countries as China did. Japanese noblemen even sent their sons to study in China!
At that time China tried again to invade Korea. They wiped out the Paekche kingdom, but after six years Korea drove the Chinese soldiers out once again. Japan saw what happened to Korea and did not want that to happen to them! They eventually pulled themselves away from China and began to create their own ways of writing, painting, and dressing in order to have their own Japanese ways.
After we discussed the reading we talked about haiku poems and read a few examples. Haikus are short simple poems of three lines each, focusing on some aspect of nature. The first line should have 5 syllables, the second 7, and the last 5, again. After brainstorming words that reminded us of winter (such as snow, snowflake, reindeer, icicle, etc.) we chose one word to brainstorm even further...reindeer. We came up with words such as fly, fast, Santa, swift, sleek, and antlers. Together we suggested lines, amending them to fit with the recipe for a haiku. Here’s what we came up with:
Swiftly through the air
Enthusiastically the students chose a season to work on with a friend or on their own. Some finished them, but most need to finish up at home. I gave them a paper with lines on it in order to write their final copy and draw a picture to go with it. We will have a poetry reading at the beginning of class next week, so please have your child bring their poem. If you or your child have any questions please let me know!
Here are a couple of the poems written today: