Teachers Network
Translate Translate English to Chinese Translate English to French
  Translate English to German Translate English to Italian Translate English to Japan
  Translate English to Korean Russian Translate English to Spanish
Lesson Plan Search
Our Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Popular Teacher Designed Activities
TeachNet NYC Directory of Lesson Plans TeachNet NYC Dirctory of Lesson Plans

Teachers Network Leadership Institute
How-To Articles
Videos About Teaching
Effective Teachers Website
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Teacher Research
For NYC Teachers
For New Teachers

TeachNet Grant:
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
Other Grant Winners
Math and Science Learning
Impact II
Grant Resources
Grant How-To's
Free Resources for Teachers
Our Mission
   Press Releases
   Silver Reel
   2002 Educational Publishers Award


Improving Math & Science Learning:
The Land of the Rising Sun
Project URL: The Land of the Rising Sun

Purpose of the project:

Learning about Japan's culture, traditions, geography, and ways of life is fascinating and extremely educational. Students begin by brainstorming what they already know, and questions about Japan that they would like answered. They view a number of videos that bring them into the lives of modern day Japanese people. This Eastern culture is explored as children visit wonderful web sites on the Internet.

Visits to a Japanese tea ceremony, the bonsai gardens at the Botanical Gardens, and the Noguchi sculpture garden are other enriching experiences for the children. They learn calligraphy as they write Japanese characters with brush paint. Art and math are incorporated through origami projects. Literature readings of The Big Wave and Sadako and A Thousand Paper Cranes bring the children into the lives and tribulations of their Japanese counterparts.

The unit culminates with the students conducting research on various topics of Japan and creating a variety of projects, such as a travel brochure, a class test, or Jeopardy questions for a class game

Standards addressed by this unit:

1. Students will study about how people live, work, and utilize natural resources.

2. Students will gather and organize information from a variety of sources and display in a number of ways.

3. Students read and comprehend informational materials to develop understanding and expertise and produce written work that: (a) restates or summarizes information; (b) relates new information to prior knowledge and experience; (c) extends ideas; and (d) makes connections to related topics and information.

4. The students produce evidence that demonstrates the understanding of changes in Earth, such as changes caused by volcanism and earthquakes.

Software materials used:




Variety of videos and CD-ROMs



About 150 third grade students from 5 classes of mixed ability levels were involved in this project. They worked in pairs and small cooperative groups throughout the unit on various activities and the research projects.


The students really  immersed themselves in the study of the various aspects of Japan. They enjoyed the trips and learned a lot of interesting information that motivated them in their research. Integrating the arts, math, and science added dimension to the unit study. Exploring the web sites on Japan captured their attention and enriched their communication skills with peers and adults in group discussions.


Computer skills and Internet access are very useful throughout this project. Field trips help to immerse the students in hands-on experiences. Integrating language arts, math, art, science, and social studies generates lots of great activities and projects. The Land of the Rising Sun is truly fascinating!!!


Allison Okun has been teaching at P.S. 6 for 9 years in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. Presently, she is the math staff developer. Her classes were part of an inclusion project with the resource room teacher.

E-mail: falbs23@aol.com

Estimated class periods to complete: 10 or more

Subject areas: Social Studies; General Elementary

Beginning grade level: 3

Ending grade level: 3


Come across an outdated link?
Please visit The Wayback Machine to find what you are looking for.


Journey Back to the Great Before