Japanese: Family Trees

This is my first post in regards to a language other than English (more commonly referred to as L.O.T.E.).

Teaching English to students (when it is their native tongue) can be tricky enough on its own but then throwing another language at them can be confronting, scary, a little exciting...but normally just daunting.

Grade 1 example of a
completed family tree.
When I was in school we didn't start learning another language until grade 6. This made it very difficult to learn (in my opinion) and was often just copying the work off the board - now that is not very exciting!

While sorting through my tubs of resources I came across my Japanese resources and this activity grabbed my attention to blog about.

The family unit has changed a lot over the last 100 years as to what is now seen as "normal". The diversity of families however has rendered the traditional family tree a little redundant - even my kids couldn't use it! I took action and designed two different family tree models which can be easily adapted for younger or older students as well as cater for everyone's unique family.

Grade 6 example of a completed family tree
with optional friends on the grass

The first version is for use with younger students. They use leaves to draw one member of each family. I then have 3 versions of sheets to choose from, with early learners I strongly recommend using the one with Hiragana, Romaji and English (this sheet is also a lifesaver if you have a relief/substitute teacher who is unfamiliar with the language). Students are able to cut out and paste the writing onto the leaf.

The only thing you need to provide (or have written on their books so they can copy) is each name in Katakana.

Materials: A3 cardboard, brown card (tree), green card or paper (grass - optional), coloured pencils, fine tip pens (only to write their name in Katakana), scissors, glue, copy of the templates (available from TPT). 

Close-up of the self-portrait for
the grade 1 family tree.
Close-up of Grade 6 example showing the student's
younger sister, two older brothers and one friend
Tip: With younger students I always allow them to create their own tree - if you teach multiple year levels have the older students do their first so that there is plenty of scrap pieces of card available for them).

With older students I tend to use the apple template instead. They also usually write the Hiragana on the leaves themselves.

The apples pictured on the grass are friends - I always limited these to three. I only ever have this option for the older students due to their relationships being more structured and knowing who they consider 'family'. This part is optional though.


1 comment

  1. I so wish I taught Japanese so I could do this!