Adapting the Lesson


In teaching you always have to be prepared to abandon your plans during a lesson. This week I prepared a lesson that included a Thanksgiving warm-up (“What are you thankful for?”), a word search of occupations in English, a target sentence (After high school I want to be a ______ because ______), a bingo game, and a flashcard vocabulary quiz over occupations.

The warm-up, I am thankful for _______ because ________, ate up 30 minutes of the 50 minute period. I was initially pretty surprised but my teachers explained to me that it is difficult for the students to reflectively express thankfulness for something in Japanese, let alone English. They are, of course, thankful and grateful for many things, but rarely would they use an expression such as “I am thankful for ________ because _______.”

This is a great example of how you can learn culture through language. Since language is essentially our tool for thinking, there are cultural goodies embedded within our layers of vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar.  As I continue to make progress in my Japanese (very slow progress I might add), I gain insight into their culture, too.

Anyway, although it didn’t quite go according to plan, it was a successful lesson.  Oh, and here are some of my favorite responses that the students shared in class:

  • I am thankful for sun because he created the earth.
  • I am thankful for my mother because she fights with me.
  • I am thankful for the sea because it gives me delicious food.
  • I am thankful for my mother because she gave me life.
  • I am thankful for anime because it moved me for the first time.
  • I am thankful for friends because they are kind.
  • I am thankful for my girlfriend because every day is happy and enjoy.
  • I am thankful for the earth because it created us.
  • I am thankful for socks because they make me laugh when made a hole.
  • I am thankful for strawberry because it makes me happy.
  • I am thankful for my friends because they are always friendly to me.
  • I am thankful for erasers because they erase everything.
  • I am thankful for my family because I am grown by them.
  • I am thankful for foods because I need food to live.

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2 Responses to “Adapting the Lesson”

  1. sarah austad Says:

    Very cute remarks. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Mom in AK Says:

    I am thankful for Pacificloons because it keeps me in touch with Taylor and Julie – two people very special to me!

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