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"Where In The World Am I?"
Creating a Travel Brochure for Japan
by Rich McClain
Boise State University

Grade: 6-8
Time Allotment: 4 to 5, 45 minute class periods
Subject Matter: Geography (Social Studies)

With the help of video clips and online web resources students will create a travel brochure for the country of Japan. Students will research and gain knowledge of the history, culture, geography and political environment of the country. Research will culminate in the rendering of a travel brochure designed to entice people to travel abroad to Japan.

Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  • Identify the geographical and political areas of Japan. This should include knowing the names of the major islands, largest cities as well as major mountains and rivers.
  • Have a brief summary knowledge of the history of Japan. The summary should include four to five major historical events. This could include types of governments, major wars, and Japanese religions as well as some interesting facts.
  • Learn about and gain an appreciation for a culture other than their own as well as discover what is different between our culture and theirs.

Idaho Standards:

  1. Understand the spatial organizations of people, places, and environment on the earth's surface.
  2. Understand the human and physical characteristics of places and regions.
  3. Understand that human actions modify the physical environment and how physical systems affect human activity and living conditions.
  4. Understand that geography enables people to comprehend the relationships between people, places, and environments over time.

National Standards

The World in Spatial Terms

  • 1. Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographic tools and technologies.
  • 2. Knows the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment.

Places and Regions

  • 1. Understands the physical and human characteristics of place.
  • 2. Understands that culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.

Human Systems

  • 1. Understands the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface.
  • 2. Understands the patterns of human settlement and their causes.
  • 3. Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth's surface.

Environment and Society

  • 1. Understands how human actions modify the physical environment.
  • 2. Understands how physical systems affect human systems.
  • 3. Understands the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution and importance of resources.
  • 4. Understands how geography is used to interpret the past.

Uses of Geography

  • 1. Understands how geography is used to interpret the past.

Media Components :
Daimyo National Gallery of Art - Washington

  • 1st Segment: Counter from 301 to 407, Includes section on the blending of the warrior class with arts and culture. This section helps to explain Japanese culture. Approx. 1 min.
  • 2nd Segment: Counter from 948 to 1230, Includes a recreation of the Japanese tea ceremony. This section provides further understanding of the Japanese culture. What is the symbolic value of the ceremony? Approx. 3 min.
  • 3rd Segment: Counter from 1748 to 1848, Includes an introduction to the Japanese Noh Theater. This section gives a short explanation of Japanese Theater and further describes the culture. Approx. 1 minute.

Web Sites

  • Geography World - - Once loaded on the main page locate and click on the link for Asia. Within this link will be several links for Japan. All of these links can be utilized to find information to supplement the brochure, i.e., culture, visitor info, statistics, culture, maps etc.
  • - - This web site contains links to pages that will provide pictures and maps of the country. It can also be used as a resource for information on the country and its people. This site provides extensive information on statistical figures, i.e., populations, birthrates and climatic conditions.
  • Japan National Tourist Organization - - This is one of the many official websites that promotes tourism in Japan. This is a great resource for ideas to put in their brochures.



  • Colored construction paper to make tri-fold brochures.
  • Scissors and glue.
  • Internet access to download pictures to enhance the brochure as well as providing an information resource.
  • Provide reference books from the library for research.
  • Assignment worksheet with project specifications.
  • TV / VCR
  • A writing utensil to take down notes.

Prep For Teachers

  • Bookmark websites listed in Media components.
  • Provide worksheet that includes requirements for the making of the brochure.
  • Have video clips in order to present to students to introduce them to a few of Japan's wonders.
  • Have resource cart from the library with reference books.s for examples.

Introductory Activities
"How many of you have ever been on a trip or done any traveling? As most of you probably went on vacations that your parents chose, what do you think made them decide on that particular place to visit? When deciding on a place to visit one of the best resources is to find a travel brochure and look for a country or place that looks interesting. Today you will be watching a few short video clips about Japan. Once finished I will provide you with the necessary resources to make your own travel brochure to entice visitors to come to Japan." The FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION will be on the culture and history of the country of Japan. The following questions should be asked of the students before viewing the video so they know what to keep an eye out for:

  1. What did the blending of the warrior class with the upper class do for the culture of Japan, both in the past and in today's society?
  2. What does the ancient tea ceremony symbolize to the people involved?
  3. How does the Noh Theater portray Japanese history to its viewers?

         At this point you will show the video clips listed in the media components section. After viewing the clips have a short discussion covering what interesting things the students saw in the video that would be good to market Japan to tourists. From the previous questions what did the students see? After discussing the answers to the questions lead the students into the worksheet on creating a travel brochure. Ask them how they can use the interesting parts about the Japanese culture to entice travelers to come and visit the country. At this point you can introduce the worksheet and provide the students with the websites they can use to find information as well as the resources provided from the library.

Learning Activities
Once the introduction is done the rest of the first day will include taking the students through the several web resources to look for information. Break the class into as many equal numbered groups as you have internet accessible computers available. Pick a person in each group to follow along as you lead them through the several bookmarked websites. Point out the many different areas of information available from each site. Have them take notes on anything that they think would be good to put in their brochure. As you navigate the websites have various students take turns at the computer to ensure all get some practice working through the sites for information. Towards the end of class (The last fifteen minutes or so) introduce the worksheet. Take the students through it and ask for questions. Encourage the students that have internet access at home to get an early start so everyone can have time researching on the web.

Culminating Activity

Practice: Hand out a worksheet with the following instructions. As I go through the instructions I will give examples of what each could look like.
1. This project will test your individual ability so you will have no partners.
2. You will create a tri fold brochure on the construction paper that will be provided.
3. The following elements must be present in the brochure.

  • A short history of the country.
  • General facts regarding the country. (Major islands, cities and geographical sites such as mountains and rivers.)
  • Points of interest that are 'must sees' in the country. (Mt. Fuji, a tea ceremony, Kabuki Theater, religious shrines or Japanese gardens, etc.)
  • Important things you need to know about traveling in Japan. (Culture, money, speaking, religion, etc.)
  • Show in your brochure what is unique and can only be seen in Japan

4. The brochure must look professional so has to be typed.
5. You must have at least five pictures to supplement the brochure.
6. Please feel free to individualize your brochures as you see fit. Just keep in mind that they must be professional.

You will have four days in class to work on the project. It will be due at the end of class on the fourth day.


Language Arts:
Have students write a short Haiku poem.

Require students to include a couple of sites from WWII in their brochure.

Have students put together a brochure specializing in seeing the advanced technology found in Japan.


Find and invite someone to come in and speak to the class about Japan. Perhaps have them demonstrate a Japanese tea ceremony and then explain its historical significance. If you have the resources set up a classroom pen-pal relationship with a classroom in Japan.

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