The juniors of IB became part of a different culture for about three weeks during the month of February by exploring the different activities that go along with the Japanese culture. Every student in Mrs. Fry’s class read the book The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima which is a coming up age book about Japanese culture.
The Sound of Waves is one of the IB books that the district requires students to read. Mrs. Fry came up with activities relating to the Japanese culture including pearl diving, making sushi and drinking various Japanese teas like Matcha and Jasmine. This is how the students got a deeper understanding for the book.
“I believe that exposing the students to things beyond their knowledge is an essential part of IB,” Fry said.
Instead of just an average class that reads the book and completes the unit by taking a test over it, the students researched six main categories of the book to explore the Japanese culture. One example of the categories they researched was pearl diving, which showed the different cultural aspects within the book. The classes took a trip down to the school pool where marbles were placed throughout the bottom of the pool. The students who wanted to participate in the activity dove into the pool in search for the marbles, and then handed them to someone on the side.
Making sushi was also a way each student enhanced their knowledge of Japanese culture. Fry did the research and the prep work which including gathering the ingredients, and setting up each sushi station in the classroom. The students then prepared sushi by rolling out the rice and wrapping it.
“I really think being hands-on involved helps a ton when it comes to understanding whatever task you’re doing,” junior Hannah Breckenridge said. “When of the things I loved about making the sushi was understanding the process behind it.”
After the adventurous Japanese Pearl diving and sushi they wrapped up the Japanese unit feeling more exposed to a different culture, according to Breckenridge. Fry made ceramic pots and cups that were decorated for each student to drink their tea out of. They all got to take a little piece of the unit home with them by bringing home their cups.