“As if suffering from earthquakes, typhoons and other natural phenomena wasn’t enough, the denizens of Tokyo also have to put up with supernatural occurrences in the form of folkloric creatures, gods, demons and other evil spirits that haunt the city…..”
…..and they were all in Hibarigaoka school on Sunday!! Haha!
Our annual Halloween Party followed a day on from when there was indeed an earthquake, a tsunami and two typhoons! How did I know that my own Metropolis Magazine article’s opening gambit would ring so true and come back to haunt me over just one weekend!!
This year’s party was perhaps our biggest, with over 40 students, and so Lai-Keun and I had to split up and do two separate classes which was kind of a shame as its quite nice to co-teach on occasions and not just because it means less work!
It took a while for my first lesson (playgroup and kindergarten level) to get off the ground due to a consistent (and a little bit disruptive!) trail of latecomers and my idea to start more-or-less straight away with an activity game; feed the pumpkin (basically an egg and spoon-type race where the two teams race to feed the giant pumpkin specially-made mini pumpkins) – which was an epic fail! After that it soon settled down and typically it was the more serious stuff (drilling of the lexical items) and regular games which worked better than the so-called fun activities.
History and experience has taught us that the craft activity should involve as little cutting and glueing as possible (given the time constraints of the lesson) so this years involved just colouring in a pop-up Halloween character and its pot and then decorating it with stickers which is hugely popular with the kids. So addicted were they that it was actually quite difficult to get most of them to stop doing it and take the drink and snack break which followed directly on!
The second group (lower and higher elementary) ran far more smoothly and the games, once set-up and demonstrated, basically took care of themselves. As it was supposed to be a party I didn’t focus too heavily on the English side of things although the team relay race and circle and the chain drilling in particular went down very well too. The remainder was mostly just a load of fun games such as hot pumpkin, the aforementioned feed the pumpkin (don’t be afraid to repeat something that has flopped previously is the moral of that story!), broomstick football, bowling, chopstick race and pass the parcel.
As is the norm at all of these events we rounded off each session with ‘hit the piñata’ with both groups joining in unison to burn off any leftover energy by swinging a plastic hammer a couple of times each at the sweet-packed piñata. It was then a mad scramble to gather as many sweets as possible in the melee which followed once Lai-Keun had emptied the star-shaped piñata of its contents.
Click on the years below to see my ‘Spook-tacular Halloween’ blog entry for each one
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