Fan of Japan


What do you know about Japan---its geography, culture, sports, and industries? Decorate a fan with symbols of the country, past or present.


1. Japan is a small country located on a mountainous archipelago of four main islands. It is located in the sea more than 115 miles (190 km) from the continent of Asia. This distance protected Japan in many ways throughout its history. Japan cut itself off from outside influences for long periods of time. Only 2% of the population is not Japanese. Learn about how the country was created and find out how the times of isolation affected the nation.

2. Japan has also adapted various influences from its neighbors, China and Korea, and made them their own. Study what those things were and how the Japanese changed them. Find information about contemporary Japanese culture, sports, and industry.

3. With Crayola® Scissors, cut two pieces of oak tag into identical fan shapes. Using Crayola Washable Markers, draw pictures that show what you know about Japan. Illustrate one side of both pieces of your fan.

4. Sandwich a craft stick between the two fan pieces with Crayola School Glue. Dry.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points


  • Invite people of Japanese ancestry to talk about the country and share authentic artifacts. To focus on geography, try Mapping Japan.
  • Students choose to focus on two aspects of Japan (geography, music, sports, art, or holidays such as Coming of Age Day), and feature one aspect on each side of the fan. Display fans in bases made with Crayola Modeling Clay so viewers can see both sides.
  • When the Japanese first met Europeans they called them The Southern Barbarians. During WWII, the Europeans and Americans described the Japanese as barbarians. Throughout history, many peoples in the world have been called similar derogatory names. Why do you think groups of people (or individuals) use negative, stereotypic labels? Do you think this name calling could still happen today? Why or why not?
  • Older students research how the meaning of the term "Made in Japan" changed during the 20th century. What does this label mean today?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • craft sticks
  • oak tag or poster board



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Special Needs


  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Less than 1/2 hour
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children research information about Japanese culture and geography.

  • Students identify symbols of historic and contemporary Japan, such as silk, baseball, fireworks, Mt. Fuji, electronics, and transportation.

  • Children use their knowledge of Japan to decorate a fan with symbols of the country.


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