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Teaching "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes"

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Rita Vruwink

on 1 February 2013

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Transcript of Teaching "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes"

Teaching "Sadako and
the Thousand Paper Cranes" EDUC 409 Assignment 1
By Rita Vruwink The Book Addressing the General Outcomes from the Alberta Program of Studies Addressing the Framework for Student Learning Competencies Learning Activity 2 Learning Activity 3 Learning Activity 1 There are several ways in which the use of this novel addresses the competencies set out in the Framework for Student Learning. Japan Quest Another activity would be one in which the students choose a project in which they could creatively represent the novel. This could be any number of things, for example:
a skit
creating their own book cover
making an animated video
writing poetry
writing a letter as one of the characters in the novel
writing a newspaper article about the novel(hiroshima, the monument, etc.)
These are only a few of the possibilities that students could do to represent and share what they learned through reading the novel. World Peace Division 2(4-6)
Would probably use in a grade 4 classroom
I will look at the General Outcomes as if it is for a grade 4 class. This is the story of Sadako Sasaki a young Japanese girl who survived the bombing of Hiroshima only to be diagnosed with Leukemia due to the bomb at age 11. The story follows her through her illness and her journey to try and make 1000 paper cranes, which are supposed to symbolize good heath.
In the end Sadako died after only completing 644 paper cranes but her classmates took up the job of finishing for her and Sadako and the paper cranes became a symbol for world peace. General Outcome 1 Students will listen, speak, read, write,
view and represent to explore thoughts,
ideas, feelings and experiences. This novel provides many opportunities for students to accomplish this outcome.
It deals with the more serious topic of war, which is one that they may not have encountered before, and thus it lends to the students comparing the events that occur in the book, such as death, sickness, family and others, to their previous experiences and asking questions about the material to learn more.
The serious topic also provides good opportunity to begin the use of personal reflections on the topics presented.
This book also brings in multiple perspectives in that it addresses the different cultural perspective of Sadako and the Japanese people towards the bombing of Hiroshima. General Outcome 2 Students will listen, speak, read, write,
view and represent to comprehend and
respond personally and critically to
oral, print and other media texts. This outcome deals more with the students understanding of the text and encourages critical thinking.
The format of this text is that of a novel, probably one of the first of which the students will encounter in schools.
Novels allow for the students to deepen their understanding of story structure.
There is also more complex and complicated structure and grammar to a novel compared to some of the storybooks that they may have encountered before. General Outcome 3 Students will listen, speak, read, write,
view and represent to comprehend and
respond personally and critically to
oral, print and other media texts. This outcome is about the students being able to respond to the texts meaningfully.
Because of the background and history involved in this novel it allows for many opportunities for the students to reasearch various topics such as Japanese culture or poetry, sickness such as cancer, and a simplified history of the events that occurred in the book.
This type of research would allow students to further their understanding and apply it in different ways as well as practice on doing presentations, using various multimodal forms, and possibly group work. General Outcome 4 Students will listen, speak, read, write,
view and represent to enhance the
clarity and artistry of communication. General Outcome 5 Students will listen, speak, read, write,
view and represent to respect, support
and collaborate with others. This outcome is very much in relation to Outcome 3 in that it is about the students ability to represent their understanding of the text to others.
As mentioned under outcome 3 the idea of a presentation works very well for encompassing this outcome as it displays the students understanding in a way in which the other students should understand.
To do this the students would have to use their knowledge of the English language to present the information that they want in a way that can be understood(proper spelling, etc.) This outcome encompases both the students ability to work within a group as well as to understand the texts that are looked at under a wider more cultural lens.
Because the novel takes place in Japan it does help to bring the perspective of another culture into the class.
It also deals with the subjects of war and peace which can be seen in many aspects of today's world and that has an impact on our lives.
It shows respect for others beliefs and traditions through the idea with the novel that folding paper cranes would somehow bring healing and how in the novel that belief is as strong as prayer might be to some people.
The novel also provides a forum for the students to have group discussions on these more critical issues.
If presentations are done alongside the novel then they could easily involve group work as it makes it easier on the students as well as encourages the development of collaborative skills. Collaboration and Leadership
This novel could provide many opportunies for the students to develop skills in collaboration and leadership. Activities such as group discussions and group presentations are the most obvious but there is also the possibility for the students to engage in some sort of fund raising activity for the school, community or elsewhere through the making of paper cranes or some other medium. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
Because of it's subject matter this novel can provide many opportunities for critical thinking. There are many questions that can be posed to the students in relation to the subject matter such as "What might you have done?", "How would you have reacted?", "Do you think this still effects us today?", or "Is there anything you think we could do about this?"
These kinds of questions would encourage critical thinking by the students as well as develop their skills in solving problems and making decisions in terms of the ideas and issues presented. Creativity and Innovation
Many things can be done in conjunction with this novel to foster creativity and innovation.
An activity commonly done when doing this novel is to fold paper cranes.
There can also be other sorts of art projects or presentations done in different creative manners. Social, Global, Cultural and Environmental Responsibility
As was covered under many of the general outcomes this novel is situated within another culture and society and deals with issues surch as war and peace.
The discussions that could arise through studying this book should help to encourage growth of students sense of responsibilities in all of the above matters. Communication and Digital/Technological Fluency
In terms of these two competencies I believe that they would be accomplished in similar ways.
Part of communication would of course be the classroom discussions that the class would engage in.
The other part could be from the projects or presentations that could be done in conjunction with this novel as presenting would improve students competency in communication and they would almost certainly in today's world use some form of technology to research, create and present their findings or at least have the option to do so. This activity would involve the students doing research to learn about Japan and it's culture. The students would learn about basic facts about Japan and then make up a list of things they might want to know more about.
Another way to approach this is to teach the students about the different kinds of Japanese poetry(Haiku, Tanka, Renga) and have them learn about them and writing the different kinds. A creative aspect could also be added to this by doing some sort of art project to creatively display the poems. Analysis As a class, design an activity that promotes peace. Brainstorm ideas for an activity that promotes peace somehow. This activity could be in the school, community or somewhere larger. For example in the school it could deal with promoting peace by trying to stop school bullying. Once the activity is chosen, you can ask students in other classes, schools, cities, provinces etc… to participate. Resources used for class activities:
http://www.proteacher.org/c/733_novel_unit_-_sadako_and_the_thousand_paper_cranes.html This activity adresses all of the outcomes in some way. The main outcomes that are addressed are Outcomes 3, 4, and 5 as these are the outcomes that deal with the students ability to understand, inquire and represent their learning of a particular topic. This kind of research project would encourage the students to inquire about things they find interesting and be able to translate their findings into their own work. It also addresses outcomes 1 and 2 in that hopefully the students would carry the underlying issues brought up by the text throughout their inquiry and be thinking and analyzing thise issues throughout.
In terms of the seven competencies many of these are covered through this activity as well, as many of them can be seen through the outcomes. The research would require competency in digital and technological fluency. Creativity, Communication and collaboration are interlaced throughout this activity as it would require students to work together and create their own poems and be able to communicate their ideas to their classmates. For example, Renga poems are a type in which it is two people writing the poem together each one writing responses to the other as if there are two parties in the poem that are talking. This requires all three of the competencies mentioned before. Underlying the whole activity should be an understanding of the social, cultural and global issues surrounding it and it should always encourage critical thinking as well as the students understanding of the issues in relation to their own lives and well-being. Lifelong Learning, Professional Management and Well-being
This is perhaps the hardest competency to pin down in terms of how this novel relates to it. I would hope that the students would have a better understanding of the issues presented in the novel, such as sickness and war, and also a drive to want to better the world through the novel's message of world peace. This video was done by an 11-year old girl. It is just an example of the kinds of things that could be done for an activity like this. Like activity 1 this activity does cover all of the general outcomes and the competencies of the framework. It is another project that is very much centered on outcomes 4 and 5 in that it is about representing their learning in a creative way and sharing it with their class as well as having the option to work together as a group in some choices of this activity. It also catches outcome 3 as some of the choices might involve research as to how to do them, such as making an animation. Like activity 1, outcomes 1 and 2 should be underlying throughout this activity as critical thinking is something that should always be encouraged.
This activity also covers many of the competencies, with a focus on creativity, digital and technological fluency, communication and collaboration. The other three competencies should be underlying in this activity, they are not the focus but they should be understood to always be a part of learning. This activity is one that I think addresses the competencies the most obviously, with the general outcomes being interwoven into whatever activities the class might choose to engage in to promote world peace. Unlike the other two activities this one's focus is on the competencies of critical thinking and social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities. This is the kind of activity in which you can get the students engaged in some larger activity to help change and influence the world. Whether it is inside of the school or community or perhaps applies to something larger than that it encourages the students to take a more active role in their world. This also addresses collaboration and leadership in a large way as the students would have to work together to create and carry out an idea and there would be ample opportunities for student leadership. The students would have to be creative and innovative in order to communicate their ideas and they would most likely rely on their technological fluency to find some way in which to communicate their ideas. This kind of community outreach is the kind of thing that can influence a students own sense of their lifelong learning and their own well-being as it brings the ideas that they learned about through the novel into a situation that applies to their real lives.
The general outcomes would all also apply to an activity like this because they are the general ways by which the competencies can be carried out in the classroom. I think the main competency for which there is very little guidance on how to carry out is that of Lifelong Learning, Personal Management and Well-being. These seem to be the kinds of topics that are just not addressed within the outcomes that are set out in the program of studies and thus it is hard to know exactly how they might apply to the novel.
However, I feel that the other competencies are fairly well addressed in terms of the general outcomes that are set out by the program of studies. I feel like once these two documents are combined and refied that we will hopefully have a document that will provide us with guidance as teachers.
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