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Home » Middle School Ideas » Samurai Resume!

Please use this forum to share ideas, materials, and methods for teaching about Asia that are appropriate for middle school classes. Please also note the social studies, literature, and other discipline-specific threads in the "Asia in My Classroom" forum.
1/21/2016 12:43:24 AM

gwhitley
gwhitley
Posts: 19
Subject: Samurai Resume!
I used to teach middle school, 7th Grade history, and had this project called the Samurai Resume. It wasn't my idea, but I tailored it to each class a bit, and it was pretty popular with the kids. Basically, they have to research not just the weapons a Samurai used (which is really all they care about at first), but also his (and her, in at least one documented case) martial arts training, notes about the armor construction, favorite hobbies (e.g., writing haiku poems, flower arranging, arranging rock gardens), what kind of music he/she enjoyed (they had to find out which musical instruments an off-duty samurai would have heard in his day), a few notes about their religion (Shinto/Buddhist, which gave those religions a bit more weight than simply seeing them briefly mentioned in the textbook), and so on. One conundrum for the kids to get around was the Reason For Leaving Your Last Employer question, since, if their last employer (feudal landowner, or Daimyo) had been dispatched by foul play (assassinated by a ninja, for example), then they themselves would have, per Samurai tradition, been obligated to commit Harri-Kiri... ritual self-disembowelment! Anyway, a fun project... their are several webpages for it, I used this one to build my project. The resources page gave the students a lot of options and point of interest.

http://http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/score_lessons/samurai_resume/Pages/resources.html

A couple final final notes: you could offer extra credit (and depth to your project) by having them actually write a Haiku, or transcribe one from a book/website that meant something to them personally. Secondly, , you could also require a cover sheet, depending on their ELL level. I usually did, and gave them extra credit if they typed it. But the signature had to be signed, in blue or black ink. This gave them a heads up on how to fill out a resume and do a cover letter for when, sometime in the future, they decided to get an actual job themselves. Cool
edited by gwhitley on 1/21/2016
edited by gwhitley on 1/21/2016
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