Goeie more van "South Africa"

So, another week began and we exercised with our favourite gymnastics teachers, Miyashita sensei. Every Monday, we do not have time to go to the park because our gymnastics class ends quite late in the morning. Today, after gymnastics class, we had Puzzle Play. Our teachers set out an array of different puzzles, in varying degrees of difficulty and interest. We had puzzles with specific colours in wooden frames, a Mickey Mouse puzzle which we needed to negotiate with our friends about, as it was extremely popular and a few jigsaw puzzles. The maximum number of pieces was 54 which Yuki and Jotaro did together. It was a Pepper Pig puzzle and they raised their arms in joy when they completed it.

  So today was our South Africa day. We touched the surface of South Africa and focused on beading which is an art form that was revived after apartheid was dismantled. African women who live outside of the city always had to leave their families early in the morning, to go to work. Now, many of them can work from home and bead. We have a few different things on display in our room, made from beads which we looked at. We had an animal that Meg thought looked like a moose because it has horns, a giraffe, a rhinoceros, a penguin, a lion, elephant, hippopotamus and wildebeest (which looks a bit like a buffalo).

We decided to make a bracelet using tiny beads which we threaded onto a pipe cleaner. Some of us wore them throughout the day and some of us decided to keep them inside our school bags, to take home.

When we sat together in a circle, we said “hello” to our friends in English. Shelley told us that when she went to school, she had to learn Afrikaans. She said “goeie more” to us which means good morning. Then she said “molo” which is “helloe” in another language from South Africa called “Xhosa”.  When she said “Xhosa” she clicked her tongue. It was a little tricky for us to do this. Then she said that she was going to hum a tune and asked us to listen carefully and see if we could guess what the song was……hm hm hm……….we first thought that it was “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” and then perhaps “The ABC song” and then Dev said: “Baa baa black sheep”…..bingo! We all sang “Baa baa black sheep” in English and then Shelley sang it in “Xhosa”. We couldn’t recogise any of the words. We also counted in English all the way from one to ten and then we counted in “Xhose” all the way from one to ten:

“Iinye, mbini, ndato, zine, ghlano, ndandato, xhlexhle, bozo, toba, lishumi”.  We looked at a few books about people who live in South Africa, because there are many people from many cultures who live there. There are people who were born in South Africa, people from other countries in Africa, people from China, people from Malaysia and people from Europe and America. We chose to read the story about Antjie. She lived outside the city and drove a cart that was pulled by two donkeys. When she went into the store to deliver some potatoes, she left the cart outside in the street and when she came back, the cart and the donkeys were gone. She searched in the vegetable patch, in the bushes and asked everyone she knew if they had seen her but……………..she became tired and rested on an old tree until her friends called her. They had found the donkeys and they all danced and sang together in celebration.

We looked at the globe and saw that the world has land and lots of ocean. The blue on the globe represented the ocean. If we flew from Tokyo to South Africa, we would have to fly across land and ocean to get there. While we are enjoying being at school in Tokyo, people in South Africa are sleeping and when they are awake in the afternoon, we are asleep. We are looking forward to reading a few more books from South Africa and possibly learning some more words in Xhosa and Afrikaans. We first listened to the book in English and then Shelley read it in Afrikaans. Even though we didn’t understand the words, she turned the pages and we saw the pictures and understood what the story was about (especially since she had first read it to us in English)

          In gymnastics we did a few new exercises using the circular cushions. We were divided into two teams and had to walk on the cushions as if they were stepping stones. Miyashita sensei pretended that there was a crocodile in the water and we needed to be careful that we didn’t fall in the “water”. After we had walked along the cushions we had to jump over the elastic that was tied to two chairs. The first time the cushions were in a straight line and the second game was with the cushions in a zig zag. The last game was with all of us holding hands in a large circle while we were lying down on our tummies. We had to hold our friends’ hands tightly. Miyashita sensei came behind us and pulled our feet and we had to hold our friends’ hands really tight so we didn’t let go. At the very end of the lesson, we screamed and ran to hug Miyashita sensei as we do every lesson.

We also spoke about “LOVE” and who we love. Tomorrow we will talk about what is “LOVE”. We sang “Love is something if you give it away”. The song reminds us that when we give things away, they always come back to us.

Thanks for a fun day.


All the children in Petals Class.

Ohana International School