Tag Archives: review

[K] Kids Web Japan

12 Apr

(This was first written for my Materials for Tweens class.)

Kids Web Japan is a bilingual website for kids maintained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The main content available in English and Japanese, with some pages translated into French, German, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, and Chinese. The English and Japanese sites look like they are regularly updated with news, while the other languages seem to contain informational pages (including some news pages) translated from the main site available in the other languages. There are more pages and games available in English than in Japanese, as the English site contains language lessons and other content that would not be as applicable to children who already know the language. This review will focus on the English version of the site.

Tweens interested in Japanese culture can find information about the daily lives of Japanese children and learn about different customs and traditions in Japan that they may have only seen in anime or manga. There is also a column called “What’s Cool” that has articles about current trends in Japan.

In addition, there is a series of language lessons covering basic conversational Japanese and grammar, with games and articles about the Japanese language to reinforce these lessons. There are also other games and trivia quizzes to test their knowledge of Japanese culture, online storybook pages with Japanese folktales, and recipes of traditional Japanese foods to make at home.

Children of Japanese descent born outside of Japan can also use this site to learn about their heritage and practice reading Japanese at the same time. Tweens of all ethnic backgrounds will enjoy reading about the deeper aspects of Japanese culture that they may or may not have been exposed to through Japanese media.

This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter K.

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[H] Human Body DVD (Rock ‘N Learn)

9 Apr

(Part of this was first written for my Materials for Tweens class.)

In the Human Body DVD by Rock ‘N Learn, Marko the Pencil and Bailey the Butterfly guide Kevin and the viewers through all of the major systems of the human body, including the skeletal system, circulatory system, and digestive system, as well as the five senses. The content is correlated to National Science Education Standards and features the voices of popular anime voice actors Vic Mignogna, Luci Christian, and Kira Vincent. (This was especially amusing to me, considering my other job as an anime translator. :D)

This DVD covers a lot of material in depth, so it may help for children to watch it in parts in order to really grasp each concept. There are a lot of clear drawings and on-screen labels that show all the major parts of each system and explain how they work. There are bonus sections on how to take a multiple-choice standardized test (using practice questions based on the DVD) and a segment on the (new) food pyramid.

A test on the material covered in the DVD can be found online here.

This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter H.

[F] Fact Monster – Asian American Bios

7 Apr

(Part of this was first written for my Materials for Tweens class.)

I used Fact Monster Database – Asian Pacific Heritage Month: Celebrating Asian Contributions to America for an assignment to gather nonfiction and informational resources on a single topic, in this case, Asian American biographies.

This website was created by Fact Monster to celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month and includes special feature articles about Asian Americans and their cultures, including interactive quizzes and activities. There is also a list of brief biographies of Asian Americans in many different fields, including politics, sports, literature, science, and art. All of the pages include links to relevant pages on Fact Monster if available. I chose this site because of the volume of biographies available and the ability to browse the list by occupation. I also appreciated the number of not just East Asians, but South and Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders who were on the list. Not all of the people on this list of biographies were born in the United States, but all spent a significant portion of their lives in the States and made a contribution to American society.

I never really used databases until starting library school, but I’ve found that they can be interesting resources. There are many free databases online, like Fact Monster, but there are also a lot that libraries pay for that are free to access with a library card. I really like having students use Student Resources in Context for research papers, but not all the library systems in my area offer it.

This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter F.