Before May 5th:
Read the book Children of the World: South Korea, or some other book that shows how people in South Korea live. Discuss things that are the same and things that are different about living in the United States and living in South Korea. Tell the students that children in South Korea celebrate Children's Day, a day of good food and fun for kids. Ask the students if they would like to celebrate Children's Day.
Divide the class into small groups and have them research one aspect of South Korea that they find interesting. Topics may include food, clothing, celebrations, government, history, sports, tae quon do, the 1988 Summer Olympics, and art. Have groups prepare a three to five minute summary of their research to present to the class on Children's Day.
On May 5th:
*Here is a list of activities that you can do to celebrate Children's Day in your classroom. You may want to allow students to help choose these activities, or ones that they come up with.
Read the quote by Pang Chong-hwan to the students. As a class, list reasons for celebrating children. Once the class list is complete, tell the children why Koreans celebrate Children's Day (see background). Have the children create a poem about or picture of something that they can celebrate about themselves. Display creations on bulletin board labeled "Celebrating Me!"
Play Yut. See Appendix for information about playing yut.
Tae quon do demonstration. If there is a tae quon do dojo in your area, contact the instructor to see if a demonstration can be arranged. You may also invite students who are studying tae quon do to perform for your class.
If you know of any Korean Americans in your community, invite them to talk to your class about Children's Day and other Korean holidays.
Obtain multiple copies of Korean Cookbooks from local libraries. Allow students to look through the cookbooks, watching for ingredients that they are not familiar with and looking at pictures of different foods. Create a class list of unfamiliar ingredients and foods, and discuss some possible differences between traditional American food and traditional Korean food. Pick one or two Korean recipes for the students to make (I recommend honey cookies and thin cookie twist). Although kimchi is a basic Korean food, it is very spicy and not an easy Korean food for children to make. Small groups work best, but make sure that there is a responsible adult to supervise each group. If you have a willing parent, you may want him/her to prepare a recipe at home and bring it to school for the students to sample.
Have groups share a three to five minute summary of the topic they have researched.
After a day of celebrating, a class mural is a good way to tie it all together. Make a class list of things that they learned about Korea. Cut a large piece of butcher paper for each group of about five students and have them illustrate something that they learned. Hang murals in the hall for the entire school to enjoy.