I don’t dub myself as a great teacher – like Great Teacher Onizuka or trying to compete with any teachers out there. My main goal is that at the end of the lesson, pupils are happy with my lessons and at the same have fun as well as feel connected with the gist of the lesson; a gradual impact seeping through via edutainment approach. I always want to introduce new ideas to the pupils but not complicated to be executed – as well. I guess this is what I will continue to do as long I am still serving as a primary school teacher; before another chapter of my life takes me away from this career – another aim I wanna strive, Amin.
The syllabus in Year 5 textbook.
The tenth chapter in English Language Year 5 textbook syllabus depicts on Japanese culture with the main title “The Peach Boy” emblazoned. I am a self-confessed folklore and culture aficionado. So, you could imagine how excited and agitated I was. There was a section where pupils were introduced to Japanese aspects of Costumes, Customs, Food, Fruits, Flowers and Festivals. So, I was very super-excited (Hahaa!) explaining to the pupils on the Japanese cultures (unfortunately, I haven’t had the experience to go to Japan, yet. Only through my vast reading) that I am familiar with, such as :-
- Hanami – the Sakura scenery viewing
- Kabuki – the Japanese opera-play
“The Tale of Princess Kaguya”. I got excited that I even showed my classes the film teaser. Hopefully that will enhance their cultural knowledge. I want them to become a well-diversified great citizen of the world, Insya ALLAH.
On page 96, the textbook provides an excerpt on “Momotaro – The Peach Boy”. This legend is so famous amongst the Japanese – about a boy from a peach that finally fought an evil ogre; which is a classic tale of good versus evil. To correlate the tale with our Malaysian local flavour, I make a comparison to our own Malaysian tale of “Anak Buluh Betung” – about a baby found in the bamboo shoot but then turned out to be an ungrateful son.
I remembered another Japanese legend that I feel it is good to introduce to the pupils so that their folklore knowledge is wider. The legend of Princess Kaguya is another famous Japanese tale, derived from the legend of “The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter”; said to be the oldest Japanese folklore of all time. It is a tale of a baby found within bamboo shoot who happened to be a reincarnation of a Moon Princess. A pair of old childless couple adopted her and soon she grew up into a beautiful lady that every men wants to marry her. They fought each other and even killed one another. Princess Kaguya felt sad as her presence created animosity among men. She prayed to The Moon to take her back. On the night of the 15th during full moon, the Moon People came down to take away and told her to wear a sash around her kimono so that she would forget her memory on Earth. In the end, she was whisked away to The Moon.
I thought the tale was nice, along with Momotaro. Both serve as good literature in accordance to the gender of the pupils that feel gravitated towards – Princess Kaguya for the girls wheres Momotaro for the boys. As a layback activity but still related to the lesson, I orchestrated activity where :-
- Pupils are to create 3 kimono designs for character (either Princess Kaguya or Momotaro) they chose. They have to provide a body of the character (with NO ILLUSTRATION OF THE FULL FRONTAL – the kids laughed cheekily because they already aware with the sexual physical changes. I told them I need this lesson to be ‘decent’ although they already know the existence of breasts, genitalia, etc).
This activity was similar to the “paper doll” concept that was so famous in the 80s; where a body of a character was done and then various costumes were attached as well. These costumes were made with two extra piece of paper elongated on the shoulders – served to be as the dress hanger onto the character’s body. This activity meant to be as fun and relaxing one for the pupils but at the same time, correlates with the Japanese essence the pupils to learn. Through this activity, listening skill (pupils are to listen attentively to the instructions given) as well as writing skill (labeling the activity).
Kids can be very artsy and creative!
Hope the kids in 5 Purnama, 5 Mentari & 5 Pelangi enjoy the activity. I feel happy that I am doing the best I can – before I leave this job (Insya ALLAH!).
The film teaser that I showed to my respective classes.