There are at least 540 ways to embellish a fish and the kids at Stough Elementary proved it. By the school year’s end, I will probably find that there are a lot more than that. Each student’s response was unique and that was the fun.
As this was a new workshop, I really didn’t know how this would work, if the kids would really respond to the “assignment,” whether it could be or should be accomplished in a class period (40 min. with a few minutes for context and instruction) and was it too easy or silly an idea? I was fortunate, all 540 students from K to 5th grade affirmed the deal. They loved it. The assignment couldn’t be accomplished in one class period though, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
The whole experience was akarui (light, fun, bright) as the kids were full of anticipation when they arrived, greeting me with giggles, bows and konnichiwa, then leaving with doumo and sayonara. From time to time, I did what I could to add to their vocabulary and they at least learned at bit of Japanese culture.
A lot of credit goes to the sensei who hosted me and prepared these students for my arrival. She created the ambiance and helped me to stay on time and on track, assessing the situation as we moved through each presentation. Things could not have gone more smoothly and it made the week very pleasurable.