Day 1 – Introduction to Japan

Sue Feldman

Target Level: Grade 4, Grade 5

Subject Area: Science, Social Studies

Class Time: 50 minutes

Objectives/Learning Outcomes

  1. The students will independently read various sections in the interactive National Geographic link.
  2. The children will know the definition of archipelago.
  3. The students will become familiar with the four main islands of Japan.
  4. The children will learn which mountain range Mount Fuji is a part of.
  5. The students will learn two different ways to say hello in Japan.
  6. The children will describe the rice planting in Japan.
  7. The students will list neighboring countries to Japan.
  8. The children will read and interpret the non-fiction information on Japan and record answers to questions on their papers.

Student Assessment

As the children work through the interactive National Geographic site, they will answer specific questions. These questions are written in such a way as to encourage the children to read and analyze each of the tabbed sections of the site. Once the questions have been answered, the students will share their written answers with group members and add any additional information to their paper that they might have missed the first time. Finally, the written responses will be assessed.

PA State Standards

Subject: Environment and Ecology

Area 4.8.: Humans and the Environment

Grade/Course 4.8.4: Grade 4

Standard B.: Know that environmental conditions influence where and how people live.

  • Identify how regional natural resources influence what people use.
  • Explain the influence of climate on how and where people live.

Subject: Geography (outdated)

Area 7.1: Basic Geographic Literacy

Grade/Course 7.1.6: Grade 6

Standard B.: Describe and locate places and regions.

  • Coordinate systems (e. g., latitude and longitude, time zones)
  • Physical features
    • In Pennsylvania (e. g., Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Appalachian)
    • In the United States (e. g., Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Great Plains)
  • Human features
    • Countries (e. g., United Kingdom, Argentina, Egypt)
    • States (e. g., California, Massachusetts, Florida)
    • Provinces (e. g., Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia)
    • Major human regions (e. g., Mid Atlantic, New England, Southwest)
    • Counties (e. g., Lancaster, Lackawanna, Jefferson)
    • Townships (e. g., Dickinson, Lower Mifflin, Southampton)
    • Major cities (e. g., London, Los Angeles, Tokyo)
  • Ways in which different people look at places and regions (e. g., as places to visit or to avoid)
  • Community connections to other places
  • Dependence and interdependence
  • Access and movement

Area 7.2: The Physical Characteristics of Places and Regions

Grade/Course 7.2.6: Grade 6

Standard A.: Describe the physical characteristics of places and regions.

  • Components of Earth’s physical systems (e. g., clouds, storms, relief and elevation [topography], tides, biomes, tectonic plates)
  • Comparison of the physical characteristics of different places and regions (e. g., soil, vegetation, climate, topography)
  • Climate types (e.g.,marine west coast, humid continental,tropical wet and dry)

Materials and Use of Technology

Materials and resources

Technology resources

  • Firefox
  • The number of computers required is 1 per student.



Sequence of Instruction Including Hook and Closure

Hook – Today we’re going to take a look at “The Land of the Rising Sun.” Can you guess where that might be? Who has a prediction as to why it might be called the land of the rising sun? Show the Japanese flag.

Discuss the reason for the name of this country. Nihon (Japan) literally means, the sun’s origin.

  1. Once you get your laptop, I’d like you to go to the following website: National Geographic Site
  2. You will notice the center of this page, has a great deal of information on Japan. There are tabs at the top which read: facts and photos, video, map, E-card, and Print this feature. You will be using the first three tabs (not the E-card or the Print this feature.)
  3. Discuss the orange arrows on the text page and photos page. Explain that these arrows help you move forward and backwards.
  4. Pass out the Japan worksheet.
  5. Follow the directions on this worksheet carefully and move from the first question onto the second question. Read the information on the website carefully to learn about Japan and to find out information about the people who live there.
  6. When answering the questions on the worksheet, please use complete sentences when possible.
  7. Once you finish, there will be time to share what you learned with your desk set.
  8. Allow approximately 20-30 minutes for students to complete the activity.
  9. Once most students finish, have groups share information they found interesting and things they are still questioning.