Friday, May 22, 2009

Practice makes perfect

Running, jumping rope, painting, chanting and dancing are just some of the activities my students do to prepare for their undokai. (運土塊)

"Undokai" translates to "Sports Day" in English, and is a Saturday of competition. It can be compared to a Track and Field Day event at elementary schools in America.

The school is divided into two teams -- red and white. The teams compete in a three-legged race, tug-o-war, relay races, and many more fun events. In addition, there's a cheering competition between the two teams and a competition for the best poster.

I went to Okawame Junior High's undokai last Saturday, and I'll go to Misaki's tomorrow. Yesterday, I spent the morning watching my students at Misaki practice for the undokai. Unlike Track and Field Day, the students get a school day to practice all of the events. (Lucky them!)

One of the teams practicing jumping rope as a group. It looked challenging.

As I've mentioned before, my students blow me away by their artistic talent! The posters that they've been working on for the art competition are amazing...

I helped her paint those leaves! That's my little contribution to Misaki's white team. :)

The finished product. Nice work! "Good luck!" (Gambatte!")

They're also working on posters at Yamane Jr. High, which also has its undokai tomorrow.

The liberal arts teacher (pictured above) is always so energetic!

I haven't seen the finished poster, but I bet it turned out looking as good as the picture!

Cheering is a big part of the undokai. The students start practicing their cheers a few weeks prior to Sports Day. Here is a video I took at Misaki right before Golden Week...

On Monday, when I went to Osanai Elementary, the ninensei (second grade) class wanted to show me the dance they are practicing for their undokai. (which is also on Saturday; I have so many undokais that I could go to tomorrow!)
I thought their dance was cute and asked them to do it again for the video camera. At first they thought I was just taking a picture, haha. Here it goes...

I have no idea what they are yelling in Japanese or what the lyrics mean. Well done though!

"Gambatte" to all of the teams as they have fun competing this weekend!! Stay tuned for some pictures and video from Sports Day. :)


Dawn said...

The cheering looks fun. Those posters were beautiful too.

lauren said...

Those posters look awesome!!! I will see you in a little over a week!!!

Jennifer said...

I love the videos! They are good dancers!