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BLAST Elementary Thematic Program
Japan & Haiku

(January and February 2012)


Journey to Japan

Recommended for grades K-2

Travel across the ocean all the way to Japan without ever leaving your seat! Explore some of Japan's artistic traditions like origami, storytelling, and the Japanese garden. In this interactive program, students will bring home their very own keepsake


Davidson Mannis, Celeste
One Leaf Rides the Wind

In this collection of haiku poems, a young girl walks through a Japanese garden and discovers many delights, from one leaf to ten stone lanterns.


Lachenmeyer, Nathaniel
The Origami Master

Shima the Origami Master lives on a mountain in Japan. His beautiful origami animals keep him company. One morning, Shima finds a new paper elephant on his desk. The next day there's a splendid paper dragon. Who is making these wonderful creatures? The answer, and the wise lesson Shima learns, is truly enlightening.


Read MacDonald, Margaret
The Boy from the Dragon Palace

A poor flower seller gives his blossoms to the Dragon King, who lives beneath the sea. Suddenly a beautiful lady rises from the waves - with a little boy in her arms. "A 'thank you' from the Dragon King!" she says. The child brings luck and fortune, for every time he blows his nose, the flower seller is granted another wish. But the man, now rich, always wants more... until one day, he goes too far.  

LaFosse, Michael G.
Origami Activities

Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, is not just a great craft activity - it is an exciting way to expand your imagination. The unique projects in this entertaining book will have you swimming with koi and flying with cranes - while you explore traditional Asian cultures!


Handmade Haiku

Recommended for grades 3-5

Chilly winter sun,

Students thinking, writing fast

Slowly, comes haiku

In this interactive program, students will explore different stories made up of haiku, a traditional short type of Japanese poetry. Students learn easy steps to creating their own original haikus!


Prelutsky, Jack
If Not for the Cat

Seventeen haiku ask you to think about seventeen favorite residents of the animal kingdom in a new way. On these glorious and colorful pages you will meet a mouse, a skunk, a beaver, a hummingbird, ants, bald eagles, jellyfish, and many others. Who is who? The answer is right in front of you. But how can you tell? Think and wonder and look and puzzle it out!


Wardlaw, Lee
Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku

Nice place they got here.

Bed. Bowl. Blankie. Just like home!

Or so I've been told.

Visiting hours!

Yawn. I pretend not to care.

Yet - I sneak a peek.

So begins this beguiling tale of a wary shelter cat and the boy who takes him home. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, this adoption story, told entirely in haiku, is unforgettable.


Reibstein, Mark
Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi, a little cat in Kyoto, Japan, has never thought about her name, until friends visiting from another land ask what it means. The curious Wabi Sabi then sets out on an adventure to discover the true meaning of her name.