The first-graders (my daughter's class) gathered thin boughs that were bent into circles to make wreaths.
They also collected acorns, pine cones, berries, and leaves (some of which they spray-painted gold and silver) and brought sequins and ribbons from home
...and all the first-graders wore Fall Hats they made the week before, decorated with leaves and acorns and such they'd collected on walks outside (I love it that they don't spend all day sitting in the classroom:)).
At an event like this, the parents, grandparents, siblings and friends are the "patrons" or "customers" who go from room to room making the crafts and playing the games that the children have prepared. Cici's job was to seat people and show them where all the materials were, and let them know that the glue gun was hot:))
In the second grade rooms, "customers" could play various games the children had devised with acorns or make tops or bracelets or Acorn Men (helped by the children). Teddy liked it so much, he brought extra acorns home to make more Acorn Tops out of an acorn and a toothpick (needed a little help with the hammer, though, making the hole:)
Teddy drilling the hole to make Acorn Man
(they still trust kids in Japan to do things carefully, and there wouldn't likely be a lawsuit in the event of an injury...)
|an acorn bracelet|
They were having so much fun, I wanted to join them...:))
|Third grade Koshi-Dragon!|
The fifth graders were working with rice straw, and anybody who wanted to could go in to learn how to weave a horse or a frog (So. Cute!) from straw. The fifth grade boy I watched making a horse was really good at it--his actions smooth and quick, with few extraneous motions, as though he'd made a bunch of them and was now quite a proficient. It was a pleasure to watch him, and it seemed to me that such opportunities for mastery are unfortunately few and far between in modern schooling. Keep that in mind, next time you're listening to some body's Back to Basics rant...
Called "Wara Zaiku" in Japanese, the kids made posters spelling out the word from rice straw letters (Wa, Ra, Za, I, Ku, left to right).
A woven rice straw horse (Koshi made one of these, too)...
...and the Frog (my favorite!)
...wooden hammers, tree stump workbenches, and pans of water to soften the straw for working. It's nice to take a field trip to watch somebody making things, but so much more fun to learn how your own self!
And the sixth graders? They made lunch! Delicious Tonjiru made with sweet potatoes they'd grown and picked themselves. In fact, Koshi's first Festival four years ago (when he was a first grader) was the first time I'd ever had Tonjiru. It was an unusually cold day, and raining off and on to boot, so that hot soup tasted nothing short of sublime:)) It tasted so good, I asked how to make it--and made it at home the first chance I got!
My bowl of soup--they make theirs with pork, onion, daikon, carrot, sweet potato, gobo, and konyaku. Several more things than I put in when I make it myself, but delicious and filling nonetheless.
|Properly dressed in aprons and 'kerchiefs|
We were graciously served by the sixth graders themselves, who brought tea first, then the soup.
...tea and simple, lovely table decorations arranged by the kids from wildflowers they'd picked out around the school...
Quite a deal for fifty cents!
All in all, a lovely morning, enjoyed by parents and children alike:))
Next: What the Fourth Graders Did (or: Fun With Bamboo and How To Make Charcoal)
Mata asobou, ne!