To help everyone remember, I'll summarize what we've done in class so you can have this memory for your blog as well.
- The first day we all decorated our nametags and we got to know each other a little.
- Most days we do some Jazz Chants. They wake everyone up if they're sleepy, and give you a chance to practice typical, everyday English expressions. Here are some Jazz Chants we've done: Hi, How are you?, Hot and Humid (hot 'n humid), Is the Post Office Open Tomorrow, Clear Blue Sky, and Personal Questions.
- Each day you tell me about the things you've been doing outside of class, your trips and adventures in Washington, Maryland and Virginia.
- And each day we preview all of the things that you're going to do next and the places you will see that day. In the process we've talked a lot about American history and politics and American culture and values. We've talked about ethnic diversity and immigration and lots of other things. You've learned a lot of new vocabulary along the way.
- You've learned about the Cultural Iceberg, a metaphor to help us understand that much of what makes up a culture is "underneath the surface" and cannot be seen.
- Luckily, you have the mentors who are willing to answer lots of questions about their families, their eating habits, manners, male/female relationships, and some of their ideas and attitudes about money. This week each group will give a presentation about what they've learned about American culture.
- We listened to a song by the Blackfoot Indian singer, Jack Gladstone, called Circle of Life. (The students love karaoke, so I was sure they would sing loudly! However, they were a bit quiet, perhaps because they're in the classroom? Maybe we'll try again.)
- We read a poem by the famous African American poet, Langston Hughes, called Dreams. The bookstore and restaurant Busboys and Poets is named for Langston Hughes who worked as a busboy.
- We're working on a Reader's Theater presentation of an Algonquin folktale called The Hidden One which is about an invisible warrior who promises to marry the woman who can see him. It's an American Indian version of the famous Cinderella story. Only someone with a good heart can see him. Instead of Cinderella, the girl is called Little Scarface. And instead of Prince Charming, there is an invisible warrior whose shoulder strap is a rainbow and whose bowstring is the milky way. Instead of the Fairy Godmother, the warriors older sister, the Patient One, helps Little Scarface get rid of her scars by washing her face with magic liquid. You learned some strange new words for this story! (wigwam, birch bark, moccasin)
I enjoyed working with all of you. I hope the class has been fun and helpful to everybody! I'll miss all of you when you go back to Japan.
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