Friday, November 26, 2010

Parklife: Kindergarten park-safari in Iwatsuki

Peter Here,

As well as teaching in the 'peek-a-boo' English lessons at Lolipop Kindergarten on Friday the 19th, I was very lucky to be taken on a school trip with the 'nen-cho' (oldest year, 5-6yr olds) classes to Iwatsuki Koen (Park).

The park was beautiful, with a zig-zag red bridge across a large pond. If there was a stereotypical image in my mind of how countryside Japan would look, it would be this.

We trekked through the narrow lanes, into a clearing and then played 'exploring' through bamboo thickets and hide-and-seek. It was brilliant, as it took me right back to my Scouting days, and gave me a chance to quiz the kids on what the words for trees, leaves, animals and such were in English, without reaching for my flashcards. Then they were asking me what other objects were too in Japanese. Some of them were even asking me without prompting! Between us we learned both English and Japanese for Pebble (小石, Koishi- which literally means 'little stone, or Ishi 石), Cedar (杉材, Sugi-zai), Leaf, (葉, Happa), Spider (蜘蛛, Kumo) and lots of others.

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