Students Gain Cultural Appreciation on Japan Immersion Day

Students Gain Cultural Appreciation on Japan Immersion Day

Third grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School – who had been studying the culture, geography, history and government of Japan in their social studies classes – participated in a variety of hands-on activities during the annual Japan Immersion Day on May 31.

Deeply connected to the curriculum, the day was designed to help students get immersed into the Japanese culture and foster a greater sensitivity and appreciation of other cultures. 

“People around us might be different due to different things, but we can definitely respect and have a greater empathy for one another,” said Ann Cullagh, a third-grade teacher and team leader.

Throughout the day, the students discussed what school is like for students in Japan, learned about the significance of kimonos and the tradition behind them, and practiced calligraphy by writing Japanese words with a brush and ink. They also learned how to use chopsticks, tasted traditional food and created origami, which challenged them to use their math skills and taught them about symmetry. In addition, they learned about kendo, a modern Japanese martial art, which encourages thinking with kindness and respect for others. 

The celebration was made possible thanks to parent volunteers and members of the Japanese community, who provided insight into numerous Japanese traditions.