A look at Japanese Culture

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A look at Japanese Culture


This lesson examines the cultural traits that make Japan unique.

Grade level: Middle School


Four or five days will be needed for this unit. The first two days will be spent in gathering information and in research. Days three and four will be spent in developing the visual project. If desired, the fifth day may be used for class presentations by the groups or in the completion of the visual.

Each class session is designed for approximately 45 minutes.

Materials needed:

The materials will vary according to the type of visual chosen by each group. Computers with internet, text books, and the library will be needed for research. Word can be used for the text of the visual. Power point and Publisher are also used for some of the visual projects. Art supplies will be used by some of the groups. These can include construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, and poster board.

Suggested internet sites:




Day 1:

Divide the student into groups of three or four. Review the eight traits of culture: language, religion, daily life, history, arts, government, economy, social groups. Discuss sub-topics for each trait. (Sub-topics for daily life might include foods, entertainment, clothing, celebrations, hobbies, housing, and leisure activities. Be sure to condense the history topic to a few of the most important historical events that helped to shape the country. Arts may include music, dance, poetry, and origami. Topics for social groups might cover family structure, schools, sports, and work environment.) Students should copy the list in his/her journal or on a sheet of paper used for note-taking. The remainder of the class time will be spent in researching the internet and text book for culture information specific to Japan in all eight traits.

An assignment can be given to continue the research at home.

Day 2:

After a brief reassessment of yesterday’s findings, the groups will reassemble at the computer or with any reference books available.

An assignment can be given to finish all research at home. Time will not be given on Day 3 for additional research.

Days 3 and 4:

The groups will prepare a visual. The visual can be any one of the following:

  • A tri-fold poster board with information/pictures of all eight traits of Japanese Culture

  • A brochure created on the computer using Publisher

  • A booklet using construction paper and having eight pages (one for each trait) and a title page.

  • A power point presentation

  • An A BC book illustrating the traits of Japanese culture

  • An anime booklet detailing the culture in Japan

An assignment may need to be given after day 3 to the groups who did not accomplish the needed amount of work.

Day 5:

This day may be used to complete the group’s project. If projects are already completed, the groups may present their projects to the class.

Rita Cochrane

David Lipscomb Campus School

Nashville, Tennessee

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