Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Afternoon at the Japanese Garden

The last couple of weeks we have been praying for Japan as we learn more about their country and cultures.

Monday one of our assignments in MFW was to write a Haiku, a short poem written in a style that was developed in Japan.  The poem consist of 17 syllables and has only three lines.  The first line 5 syllables, the second 7, and the last 5.  What perfect timing because in our Language Lessons by Queen Homeschool we had just finished up learning what a Haiku was.

Since a Haiku is typically about nature I thought it would be nice to head over to the Japanese Garden at Herman Park.  So we packed a picnic, took some of our school and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in the most inviting and relaxing atmosphere.

I printed pictures of a Koi, bamboo, and a Japanese Maple and asked the kids to keep their eyes open for these three things.  I shared with the kids that Koi were first color bred in Japan in the 1820's and that Koi are domesticated common carp.  The swaying of the bamboo in the Japanese Garden is suppose to represent the sound of the ocean.

While resting near the pond I asked the kids to imagine that the yukimi lantern across the pond was a lighthouse placed on a stone beach, with the pond as an ocean and the the rocks in the water symbolizing ships being guided by the lantern.  They say on the website that the waterfall makes one think of melting snow from a mountain stream, but I can't say I have ever heard that sound before, so we will have to take their word for it.

 Soft Flat Shelled Turtle

 Micah admiring the ducks

 The girls checking out the granite lanterns.

 This is our view of the lantern as we imagined it to be a lighthouse on a stone beach.

 The rocks as ships.  The kids said the turtles were the captains of the ships.

 The waterfalls were quite soothing and relaxing.
Hannah's Haiku

 Lauren's 1st Haiku

Ducks are colorful,
Ducks are cleaning their bodies,
The ducks are swimming.
 Lauren's 2nd Haiku

Turtles relaxing,
The water is cold looking,
The rock is bumpy.
Micah drew a picture of the flowers, boulders, and himself sweating. LOL

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