Skip to main content

Curriculum | Resources | Workshops | Activities | About Us

International Festival: Japan 

Student Teacher: Maria Marble
Project Children L.E.A.D. Director: Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltran
Subject Area: Multicultural Diversity
Grade level: Kindergarten (Ages 5-6)
Length of Lesson: 60 minutes


Learning Goals:

The kindergarten students will have a beginning of an appreciation for Japanese culture.

PA Standards:


7.1.3 B Identify and locate places and regions.

  • Human features (countries)

7.3.3 B. Identify the human characteristics of places and regions by their cultural characteristics.

  • Components of culture


1.6.3 A Listen to others.

Arts and Humanities

9.1.3 A. Recognize, know, use and demonstrate a variety of appropriate arts elements and principles to produce, review and revise original works in the arts.

  • Visual Arts: craft



  1. After listening to the teacher presentation on the Japanese Sakura, the students will be able to orally answer the following two questions; "Why is the Sakura important to Japan?" and "Why did Japan give 2000 Sakura trees to Washington D.C. in the year 1912?"

  2. After viewing photographs of Sakura trees, the students will demonstrate an appreciation for the Sakura's beauty by creating Sakura trees from white and pink dyed cotton balls and brown dyed Popsicle sticks.



Collage of Japan (map of the country, people, and the flag)

Collage of Sakura trees

Various books on Japan for presentation purposes

Cotton balls dyed pink

Cotton balls (white)

Popsicle sticks dyed brown


Construction paper

Japanese food to sample such as Egg Rolls and Rice




  1. Ask students if they have ever heard of Japan.


  1. Explain to the students that Japan is an island in the Pacific Ocean by showing them a map or a globe.

  2. Tell the students that people there are Japanese and speak Japanese.

  3. Tell the students that the Japanese national flower is the Sakura.


  1. Tell the students that Sakura grows on trees.

  2. Explain to the students that the English word for the Sakura is cherry blossom.

  3. Point to the collage of Sakura trees to give students a visual of what the Sakura looks like.

  4. Tell the students that the Japanese respect nature, their country, and their national flower so much that when a Japanese person sees the first Sakura blossom of the season that person runs home, tells his or her family, and the family holds a celebration with food and wine.

  5. Tell the students that everyone in Japan celebrates the blooming of the Sakura trees.

  6. Explain to the students that in the year 1912 Japan sent over 2000 Sakura trees to Washington D.C. as a measure of good friendship.

  7. Tell the students that now in Washington D.C. Americans celebrate the blooming of the Sakura trees with parades.

  8. Tell the students that Americans celebrate to acknowledge Japan's friendship by holding parades that lasts for days.



1. Ask the students, "Why is the Sakura important to Japan?" The answer should be because the Sakura is Japan's national flower.

2. Ask the students, "Why did Japan send 2000 Sakura trees to Washington D.C. in the year 1912?" The answer should be because it was a measure of good friendship.


1. Instruct students to use the cotton balls, Popsicle sticks, glue, and construction paper to create their own Sakura trees.


1. After students have finished their Sakura trees, celebrate the blooming of their Sakura trees by sampling Japanese food.



Littlefield, H. Colors of Japan. Illustrated by Helen Byers. Carolrhoda Books, Inc. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1997. ISBN 0876148852


Jacobsen, K. Japan. Children's Press. Chicago, Illinois. 1982. ISBN 051601630X


Dahl, M. Japan. Capstone Press. 1997. ISBN 1560655240


Tames, R and Tames, S. Japan: Things to Make, Activities, and Facts. Illustrated by Teri Gower. Franklin Watts. 1994. ISBN 0531152774