Conference to introduce results from the 100-School Networking Project (Phase II)
Elementary school meeting

Joint Study on Haiku, Using a Classroom Link between Elementary Schools

Motohiro Tamai, Suzuhari Elementary School

1. Introduction

In elementary school, fixed attitudes and the tendency of children to put classmates into pigeon-holes can lead to problems in the classroom. Children sometimes find themselves unable to voice their opinions or new ideas in class. As a solution and to motivate the students, teachers need to help them develop a sense of right and wrong through educational activities, including regular subjects, moral education, and special activities.

We conducted a joint study of haiku, Japanese poems consisting of seventeen syllables, using a teleconferencing system. Mutual evaluations by students have been traditional in most schools and classrooms, but in this class, children from two distant schools evaluated each other via the Internet. This forced students to reevaluate their ways of thinking, and made the lesson much more interesting.


2. Prep work for the teleconferencing class

(1) Suzuhari Elementary School

In May, 1996, children learned about haiku published in their textbook (Mitsumura Tosho Publishing Co., Ltd).

Main content of study
In June, each child wrote one haiku and presented it in class. They also wrote their impressions of a poem that they liked written by another student. By e-mail, they exchanged haiku with Misakaji Elementary School, and wrote their impressions of a poem they liked, among those sent by students at Misakaji Elementary School.
(2) Misakaji Elementary School

As with Suzuhari Elementary School, children learned about haiku published in their textbook (Mitsumura Tosho Publishing Co., Ltd).

Main content of study
In June, every child wrote haiku, which they exchanged by e-mail with students at Suzuhari Elementary School, and carried out activities similar to those at Suzuhari Elementary School.


3. Outline of the teleconferencing lesson

The haiku lessons done by teleconferencing began at 9 a.m. on June 10, 1997. To create a more relaxed atmosphere, we began by introducing ourselves.

We followed the lesson format described below:

(1) A child read his or her haiku aloud

(2) Children exchanged opinions about the poem

(3) The child who wrote the poem explained its meaning

Figure 1. Pictures from the teleconferencing system





4. Children's impressions

Children's impressions from the questionnaire, their diaries, and compositions
(1) Positive opinions
(2) Negative opinions

5. Conclusion

Most educational activities at schools are carried out in a closed and controlled atmosphere. This method of study is suited for some subjects, but for others, it can be more effective to exchange ideas with people outside the school. We prepared and conducted this lesson with the idea that linking classrooms helps children reevaluate their own work and makes the lesson more interesting. Most children had positive opinions about this trial, and many of the negative opinions concerned problems with equipment. In the future, I hope computers and the Internet will be more accessible to schoolchildren. I would like to thank Mr. Masashi Ogawa, a teacher from Misakaji Elementary School, who ran the lesson with me.


References

[1] Motohiro Tamai and Shinichi Someoka (1997): "Study of the Educational Use of the Internet—Trial of a Joint Study of Haiku by Linking Classrooms," from a collection of lectures given at *the fifth Educational Technology Association National Convention*

[2] Shinichi Someoka, Motohiro Tamai, Sugiura, and Yamazaki (1997): "A Study of the Educational Use of the Internet 6—Linking Classrooms Using a Teleconferencing System," from a collection of lectures given at *the fifth Educational Technology Association National Convention*

[3] Shozo Fukada, Motohiro Tamai, and Shinichi Someoka: "The Day a Classroom is Connected to the Internet—Theory and Practice in the Educational Use of the Internet" published by Kitaoji Publishing Co., Ltd (now printing)


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