Ogijima Future Education Project is aiming to set a rich education environment for children on Ogijima. We have planned out an activity for Ogijima kids to gather beyond school and nursery school. The first activity was planned and carried out by Elizabeth, who is a former teacher in U.S and currently living on Ogijima.
One of the children on Ogijima has a particular fascination with outer space and astronauts, which inspired this activity to be shared among all the children on Ogijima. We began by watching a video in English that had a catchy tune about “ …. The planets that spin in the solar system, in the galaxy, where the bright stars shining all around all around …”
In the video children go on a rocket ride around the solar system. We listened to them count down and saw the rocket blast off. We saw the children working the controls, flying past planets, and even floating in space suits. After the video ended, we created our own rockets to wear on our backs, so we could pretend to fly through outer space. Starting our activity with a video prepared us visually for our activity and got our imaginations going!
Creating ‘the only one’ rockets
With varying levels of support, children as young as two years old were able to participate, and older children up to nine years old also enjoyed creating a rocket. The children pulled pieces of tape off, manipulated the tape with their fingers, and pressed it into place in order to hold the two PET bottles together onto the cardboard “backpack.” Each child attached ribbon for the backpack straps and added paper “flames” to shoot out of the bottom. The children all paid close attention to how the pieces of the rocket came together. As the instructions were given in first in English with a model, and then in Japanese, it also became a language learning experience as well.
Flying and Visit to “Planet Kakigori”
Once all the children had created their rocket, the fun really began! We counted down, in both English and Japanese and then blasted off! We used bunched up socks as pretend asteroids. Some of us threw the “asteroids” and the others tried to avoid getting hit by the “asteroids” as we flew around the room. We had so much fun shouting to each other, “Watch out! Asteroids! Be careful!” There was a lot of laughter as we threw “asteroids” and ran from each other. Not only was it fun, but it offered an opportunity for the children to work their muscles and expend some energy on a hot day.
We ended our activity by cleaning up the room and flying together to get shaved ice by the port! We called it “Planet Kakigori.” HAHA. It was so much fun and we are all looking forward to another activity together.