You could hear a pin drop in the Anne Hutchinson art room as students learned how to draw Japanese characters called kanji.
The fifth-graders first practiced on newspaper using black ink and then made a final drawing for the Anne Hutch Arts Festival in May.
Members of The Japanese Activity Committee have been sharing this traditional art form at the school for about 15 years and they have been meeting with Gina Zohar’s art students during the month of January.
Parents and some students first presented a brief history of Japanese Calligraphy and then demonstrated how to draw the kanji representing the words flower, star, and their names.
“It helps them appreciate different cultures and promotes understanding,” said Zohar. “Teaching their peers also adds value to the children who are presenting.”
Aoi Matsumoto remembers how difficult it was to learn English when he first came to the United States and he enjoyed helping his classmates with calligraphy.
“I want to share the culture so they can appreciate it and we can make friends,” said Matsumoto.
Classmate Ava DiBenedetto agreed. “I like the part about learning what things mean and writing my name. I am going to practice and show my family.”