One of the highlights of my October elementary lessons are the Halloween parties that culminate at the end of the month. Leading up to the events, the students practice the essential vocabulary, learn what they gotta say to get their candy and then make masks. Each of my elementary schools does the Trick or Treating a little different.
The first school to go this year was Yasuhara and it was probably the best showing I’ve had at the school. One of the teachers who transferred in this past year has acceptable English speaking ability and is tasked with overseeing the English education at that school. So whereas last year the event was really pretty disappointing with each class going around one at a time, this year all the classes made their rounds at once. Also, the students had prepared a sort of haunted classroom for me to sit in. Once through the mouth of the cave, the party-goers needed to recite the standard ‘Trick of Treat!/I’m a ______’ before they had rolled a large die that corresponded to which candy they received. I added a bonus piece of candy to a couple of the prizes to up the stakes. This took place over two class periods and then it was lunch time.
Behind you can see where I was set up in my haunted “Friendly Room”. These are the Yasuhara 4th graders.
The next party went down at Shionoe Elementary and they generally get into it the most of any of my elementary schools. The teachers at that school are a big help in planning the event and basically just allow me to show up with everything good to go. At this school, in addition to the masks that the students make in my classes, they also make costumes out of clothes from home and use colored plastic bags and such too. Then they navigate the hallways, stopping by all the different rooms where they then go through the motions of reciting their English lines for candy. The teachers all have a bit of fun with the costumes as well. I just floated around the hallways until everyone found me.
Here are the eldest 2 years of Shionoe Elementary
This year, I brought candy as I always do, but the teachers at Shionoe Elementary didn’t want me to give it out. Apparently, someone had already written on a piece of paper that the students would each get 19 pieces of candy, so obviously it would be a massive problem if they got 20. I challenged, ”It’s candy. The more the better. Of course the students would rather have 20 pieces”. The teacher remained fixated on the correctness of some stupid figure that no kid would care about. The way that Japan does things and especially their conviction that all things must stay within the lines can be so stupid. It was a nice day though and I enjoyed having the easier schedule.
At the third and final party, this one at Kaminishi Elementary, the students made the same sort of loop around the school. The teachers gave out lame stamps and such this year, but I had a lot of candy leftover on account of Shionoe Elementary, so I loaded up the 10 kids with a full bag each. The students terminated their wanderings at the gymnasium where we played some games and activities that I had prepared.
Everyone at Kaminishi Elementary. This bunch is the best!
The first was a jack o’lantern game where I gave each team a pouch of face pieces. Then a group leader had to convey which to use and where to put them using only English and gestures. The first team to have their pumpkin matching the picture was declared the winner. We did this a couple of times and then played one more activity. This last one was Zombie Tag, where instead of transferring one’s ‘it’ status, the tagged individual joined the hoard. Then, the last person alive was the winner. We all had a good time with this too, though I in my Doraemon suit was burning alive. Finally, I did a closing address and the day was done.
Working away on the task at hand.
The parties this year all went pretty well, though I could feel my genuine interest in them being strained a bit by repetition. Here with some of the other gents.