Book review (2)

‘Seventy warm-up activities to learning’
Watanabe, Jun. & Kakutokugata Kyoiku Kenkyukai. (eds.) Junposha.

Now is the time of multiculturalism. It calls for development of communication skills.

Necessary conditions for school education for the coming generation would be to provide a learning environment in subject areas as well as to nurture communication skills. What type of education would be called for in order to meet the need? Naturally, development in communication skills would result from the kind of education in which there is an active communication in the classroom. It would be a classroom where a body of students can discuss their opinions in a liberal atmosphere to solve a problem which may have multiple answers. The prerequisites for this would be to form a group of students who can “enjoy interactions with others”, “enjoy cooperation and concentration”, and “enjoy active movement and creation”.

Seventy warm-up activities to learning by Professor Watanabe Jun and Kakutokugata Kyoiku Kenkyukai introduces educational activities which correspond with the three steps above. The book goes beyond simply introducing the procedures of the activities. It also gives a detailed account of points of consideration for “before”, “during”, and “after” a lesson. It also refers to tips for better facilitation as well as to underlying concepts.

The main feature of this book is to introduce seventy concrete educational activities. And each one of them is really fun. A good educational activity entails the kind of fun which makes them smile as they do it. If they are given directions to do something uninteresting, they will only have a chill over it. The book is an ideal first step to developing communication skills.

  • “How to win in ‘rock-paper-scissors’”
    The leader shows her hand first. The others next.

  • “Passing handclaps around”
    Participants form a circle. Someone’s handclap is passed on like a baton in a race of relay.

  • “The white and the yolk”
    Participants are divided into groups of three, assuming that they are an egg. Two people playing the role of the white stand facing each other so that they can hold each other’s hands. The one remaining is the yolk and stands in between the other two playing the white. The one who doesn’t belong to any of the eggs calls out one of the three: the white, the yolk, and explosion. When the choice is the yolk, the participants playing the role of the yolk have to move to another egg which has the yolk missing. The last yolk to find a new egg becomes “it” for the next turn. When the choice is the white, participants playing the role of the white have to move.
Mr. Minoda Masaharu

25/11/2011 “Jidou Engeki (Children’s Theatre)” No.612, p.8