ELC Classes Venture from School

Early Learning Center teachers share details on four class field trips. In March, various nursery, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes ventured away from school for trips to see art, miniature cityscapes, kabuki and learn about recycling.

Nami Pettit, Alicia Brady, Natalie Hundleby and Debbie Iwabuchi’s Nursery Classes

Nursery children are learning about the community they live in and had a wonderful opportunity to visit the 43rd floor of Mori Tower.

We were able to walk around the model city of Tokyo and students were fascinated that they could point out various landmarks including Tokyo Skytree, Mori Tower, the airport and ferris wheel. It was a great research project for children to learn about the city of Tokyo and look out at the city. The children were most thrilled to see Tokyo Tower and the ELC!

The model was also featured in a projection mapping project called Tokyo City Symphony. Check out the video here: Tokyo City Symphony.

Hillary Storey and Masami Hatagami’s pre-Kindergarten Class

Pre-k has been learning all about recycling and took a short trip to the recycle room in the ELC building. The school custodian, Kodama-San, accompanied us to show off the recycling process. We noticed it was a bit stinky but it was very clean and everything had its own space. The students noted how organized the room was and were able to identify the many recyclable items such as bottles, cans and batteries. Many were able to relate the experience to seeing the recycle rooms in their own buildings. We have learned that not only is recycling fun, but it is also important!

Rina Hara and John Morgan’s Kindergarten Class

Our kabuki trip all began when a student said, “let’s study kabuki!” We studied kabuki through interviewing, watching videos and browsing through books—some of which Nishizawa-san, our security guard, rented from his local library for us. Then, we heard about the Kabukiza Gallery, a museum inside the Kabukiza Theater. With the help of Nishizawa-san, we mapped out how to get to the metro station, how many stops to Higashi-Ginza (where Kabukiza is located), and how long it would take to get there.

We practiced getting on and off the train (make sure to take big steps!) and what nice manners look like on a train. The children divided themselves up into three groups, packed our special field trip backpacks with their lunch, water bottle and a rain jacket, and off we went! At the Kabukiza Gallery, we got to feel and play with real props they use in the kabuki theater: boats, carriages, horses, drums, shamisen, butterflies, swords and umbrellas. We even got to watch a movie of a famous kabuki actor transforming into his kabuki character, Umeomaru. Each student bought a kabuki postcard at the gift shop, which we later mailed to our parents as invitations to our culmination kabuki show. Our children had a wonderful hands-on learning experience at the Kabukiza Gallery.

Wendy Rathgeber and Saho Chambers’ Kindergarten Class

We walked from the ELC to the National Art Center near Tokyo Midtown to view the Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul exhibit. It was quite extraordinary as the children ooh-ed and aah-ed at the gigantic brightly colored canvases on the walls and flower sculptures resting on the floor of the large room. Walking through the light room was one of the class favorites. The children entered a dark room and walked through a zig zag mirrored path with strands of lights hanging down. It gave the illusion that the lights went on forever.

Another favorite was the dotted pumpkin sculpture outside the museum. It had “windows” for the children to look inside. These experiences led to a deep discussion about who Yayoi Kusama is as an artist and led to artwork inspired by Yayoi Kusama.