Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes
BY: Janet Bragg, Lebanon, IN; June 30, 1997
The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with the Japanese culture and an event affecting Japanese and American relationships. This lesson will additionally endeavor to develop the understanding that the desire for influences all cultures and that human tragedy is a characteristic that all cultures have in common.
Grade Level(s): 6th (easily adapted to 4th and 5th)
Geography Standards addressed:
Human Systems: The geographically-informed person knows and understands how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth’s surface. (13)
The Uses of Geography: The geographically-informed person knows and understands how to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future. (18)
Places and Regions: The geographically-informed person knows and understands how culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and regions. (6)
Objectives: Upon completion of this lesson,
1. Distribute classroom novels and discuss title, author and background.
2. Depending upon the capabilities of your class, the actual reading could be conducted independently, as a group, or in partnership and small groups.
3. After each chapter, discuss its events by comparing and contrasting Japanese and American cultures.
4. Explain to class how, according to Japanese legend, a folder of 1000 origami cranes was granted a wish. Because of Sadako’s wish to get well, the crane has become a symbol of a long life and world peace.
5. When completed with the reading, practice following directions depicted on this website and make a paper crane following the origami method of paper folding.
6. If available at the time, the class could participate in sending these cranes to Hiroshima Peace Park as a symbol of peace commemorating the anniversary of the bombing.
7. Allow students time to investigate this website on the Internet recognizing features of Japanese culture. Culminate in group discussion as to likenesses and differences observed.
8. Assist students in accessing the Sadako Peace Club link and allow students to choose their own mode of presentation from the choices and directives presented.
9. Direct students to share their project idea with you and allocate work time for their essays or drawings.
Students will be evaluated on their response to the standards presented as criteria and to following correct writing and editing procedures.
This project could be extended or modified as your individual preference requires. This novel could be a springboard for several different subjects. A thorough study of Japanese culture could be organized with this lesson. Directing the students to research Japanese culture, Hiroshima, or other related topics, using the Internet, would further enhance this lesson. I can see adapting this lesson to fit your needs or student interests.
While these items are not necessary to use this lesson plan, a teacher’s guide can be ordered through this website. Additionally, a chapter-by-chapter, teachers’ guide is available through Learning Links. This guide also contains a vocabulary lesson for each chapter, as well as suggested activities.