We celebrate the end of our first semester with a lovely mini performance. It comprises of three distinct parts – yoga, dancing, and singing in English and in Japanese. It encourages broad-mindedness and supports students’ development of a wide perspective. As part of the yoga ‘repertoire’, the kids perform a simple set of movements accompanied by a customized chant in English, under the sounds of traditional Japanese music. The yoga itself stresses the importance of giving gratitude and caring for the environment.
As a Ladybugs class, we substitute the word “ants” with “ladybugs” from the original version of the chant. We prepare our own props – in line with the text – ladybug painted rocks. Thus, we aim to celebrate the bounties that Mother Nature has bestowed on us.
We enter the stage in pairs – one hand is holding the hand of a buddy while the other hand is holding the ladybug. Once we position ourselves on stage, we place the ladybug gently on the floor and get ready for the performance. We begin by greeting the audience with a traditional Japanese bow. Then, we bring our palms together in front of our chest and perform the yoga movements.
After the Yoga performance has finished, the kids pick up their ladybugs from the floor and hold it in their palm. The teacher comes to the front and one by one the kids place their ladybugs on the tray.
Second, the kids perform one popular Japanese children’s song Otsukai Ari San (Errand Ants) as well as the English song “I am so happy” by gesticulating “I” and “happy”.
Kids are allowed to wear clothes of their choice. The only requirement was – comfortable clothes. I did not want to impose any dress code on the kids for the performance day. I wished they could take this opportunity to express themselves through their clothing or to simply dress up in their favorite clothes.