Kindergarteners Go Around The World: Week 4 – Japan

Around The World in 28 Weeks For Preschool Through First Grade Collage Button 2 OK2

This post is part of the series “Around the World in 28 Weeks: Art, Literature & Geography Lessons for Kindergarten.” For an introduction, overview of the entire course, and links to more lesson plans, please click here. Thank you for visiting Cotton Ridge Homeschool!

Introduction to Week 4

This week you will be returning with the children in your class to the continent of Asia and introducing them to the country of Japan. You can do the lesson plan activities in the order that you prefer.

For a Printable Lesson Plan Schedule for the entire 28 weeks, please see the Around the World introductory post.

Below is a free printable lesson plan for week 4 in PDF format. Just click on the thumbnail below to open and view. For best results, download to your computer before printing.

Kindergarten Around the World Lesson Plan Week 4 Japan

Prep Work

  • Gather books and supplies (see checklist below)
  • Print out handouts and 3-hole punch them for notebooks (see below)

Check back during the year, as I will be adding pictures of completed projects and let you know if the kids enjoyed the lesson and any changes I would make for next time. Thanks for joining us!

Disclosure: The books and supply links below lead to products on Amazon. I am an affiliate and will receive a small commission if these links are used to make a purchase.

Japan Mountain View by Vincent_AF on flickr

Week 4 Lesson Plan

Date and Destination

Date: Third week of September**
Continent: Asia
Country: Japan

Pretend Passport: Please see Week 2 for suggestions on how to use the Play Passports during your lesson. Below are free printable Passport Stamps. Please click here for free Airline Tickets and Cruise Ship Tickets printables. Just click on the thumbnails below to open and view. For best viewing/printing results, open in Adobe Reader.

Passport Stamps

Reading (10 – 15 minutes)

Story: Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say and/or The Big Wave from The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book

Discussion: Ask questions to determine reading comprehension; tailor these to your children’s ages and abilities. Depending on the size of your class and as time permits, try to allow each child to participate. Don’t drag this part on too long or your kids will lose interest. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Did you like the story? Why or why not?
  • What was your favorite part?
  • Questions based on the Who?, What?, Why?, When?, and How? of a story are great for getting kids thinking.

If you have planned a snack, you may want to have your discussion time while you eat.

Geography (5 – 15 minutes)

Globe or Wall Map Activity: With your class,

  • find the Continent of Asia
  • point out the different countries on the continent, including Japan
  • find the capitol of Japan, Tokyo.

Japan Map Handout*: Pass out the Japan Map Handout to your class and allow them to color the page as time permits. You may want this to be the last activity of your class so they can be kept busy until the next class starts or until their parents pick them up. Have the kids place their handouts in their World Traveler Notebook (3-ring binder) before they leave.

Below is a free printable Japan Map Handout in PDF format. Just click on the thumbnail below to open and view. For best results, download to your computer before printing.

Japan Map

Art (30 – 40 minutes)

Rubber Animal Prints Japan LessonGyotaku Art (Fish Prints): from Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter. Read the “Did You Know?” sidebar on page 62, then explain the process to your children, following the project instructions.

Global Art suggests an alternative to a real fish: a rubber fish. This gave me the idea of trying my daughter’s small rubber animals, and they worked great! The paint cleaned off of them completely. They are the sticky rubber kind so they stuck to the paper, but peeled off easily.

You need:

The process:

Place the fish on plain piece of paper. Brush on a very thin layer of tempura paint (you can use more than one color). Work quickly so the paint doesn’t dry. Take another plain piece of paper and press firmly on fish. Start in the middle and press all over without moving the paper. Then carefully peel off the paper.

Rubber Animal Prints Completed Japan LessonClick here for pictures of my fish prints!

(Note: Global Art gives more detailed instructions on how to prepare your real fish for an excellent print. For example, you can use straight pins to arrange the fins, and salt or sand to rough up the scales if you wish.)

Other Activities (5 – 10 minutes)

Japan Facts & Flag Handout*: Pass out and read this handout to your class and allow them to color the page as time permits. You may want this to be the last activity of your class so they can be kept busy until the next class starts or until their parents pick them up. Have the kids place their handouts in their World Traveler Notebook (3-ring binder) before they leave.

Following is a free printable Facts & Flag Handout in PDF format. Just click on the thumbnail below to open and view. For best results, download to your computer before printing.

Japan Facts & Flag


*If there is not time in class, provide these as handouts for the kids to do at home. The pages can go in their World Traveler Notebooks as a record of their journeys.

**Our homeschool coop begins during the last week of August, but the Around the World course can be started at any time of year. Some re-arranging of the weekly plans may be necessary due to holidays, but with a little planning ahead of time, this should be very manageable.

Supply Lists

General Supply List

Week 4 Supply List

Supplies for Art Project


Copyright 2014 Kathryn Depew
Image from flickr.com used under the Creative Commons license. Image credit: Vincent_AF

Disclosure: The books and supply links on this page lead to products on Amazon. I am an affiliate and will receive a small commission if these links are used to make a purchase.


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