Today I taught a Halloween lesson at an elementary school. It was so much fun! I told them about trick-or-treating and making jack-o-laterns, and then I taught them Halloween characters (like witch, mummy, vampire, ghost, etc). After that we played a game (I made up and named the "Ghostbusters Game") where each kid gets a card with one of the characters on it, and then they have to go around asking each other "Who are you?" and say "I am a ___." The point is to find the six kids with ghost cards and write their names on your sheet. The first kid to get all six was the winner. That turned out to be pretty fun! Next, I gave the 6th graders an easy Halloween word search. For the 2nd and 3rd graders, I have them a sheet with a blank pumpkin (I drew) and they got to draw their own Jack-o-Lantern faces. This was a big hit!! In the last 5min of class, I had the kids come up to me and trick-or-treat for a sticker (we're not allowed to give candy). =D I think the kids had a really good time and got to see what a crazy cool holiday Halloween is in the US.
For the English club at this school, I had them do a different (harder) Halloween word search (which they totally did - I was impressed!), and then we made paper masks! I gave them a mask template and told them to make whatever kind they wanted, so I got two pumpkins, a bat, a vampire, and two I generically called "monsters". Then we wore our silly masks (oh, mine was a purple cat), and played a trick-or-treat game. I gave them all 5 "pieces of candy" (paper with a picture of candy), and they did rock-paper-scissors (janken, in Japanese). The winner would say "Trick or treat!", loser: "Who are you?" winner: "I am a [whatever their mask was]" loser gives the winner "candy". And so on, until time ran out and the person with the most "candy" was the winner. haha and then I felt bad because I couldn't give them real candy, so I gave them all stickers. :)
And the best part is, I get to do it all over again tomorrow at a different school! Oh, plus, next week I'm helping one of the English clubs carve pumpkins! I love my job!!!
In unrelated news, I learned my first shotokan kata today. It's really not that cool or exciting, but it's significant enough to merit a blog because it signifies that I've committed to going with what I've got and really learning all I can from this style (as opposed to always comparing it to Shorinryu). And, you know what? It was fun. I really love karate, apparently no matter the style. There's a really nice black belt lady who always helps me out (she likes to practice English, too), and there's old black belt man who's taken an interest in making my basics as good as possible. He's always working with me on kicks and punches and what-not and it's actually been really great! He's kind AND he knows what he's talking about, which means I have lots of respect for what he says. Then there's a bunch of high school boys who think they're pretty cool and kind of do their own thing, but they didn't seem to mind my following along so much after I demonstrated the Shorinryu version of one of their kata. I guess they realized that I actually AM capable, and I only look like a total dork because I'm not familiar with their style/stances. So that's good. And then there's the group of kids who are all nuts, but they're funny. One of them goes to one of my elementary schools so he gets excited to see me outside of school. So, all in all, it makes for a fun class, and the head sensei is great, so I have a good time.
Okay, that's all for now. Sorry for the lack of updates... The further behind I get, the less motivated I become. Plus, I haven't been able to upload pictures to the site because I'm having a problem with iPhoto, but as soon as I get it fixed, there will be pictures from Kyoto, Osaka, Sendai, and Akita!