About fifty students from 2nd and 3rd grade classes taught by Ana Estrella and 4th and 5th grade classes taught by Angela Jurado came on a field trip visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden on Friday, June 5 through SDYSCS funding for bus transportation. The students had the opportunity to experience a full morning of Japanese cultural activities offered at the garden.
The morning began outside the entrance of the garden with an explanation of Japanese gardening aesthetics given by docent Mike Waggener. Afterwards the two classes split and Mrs. Estrella’s class learned essential aspects of the garden through interpretive dance taught by choreographer Todd Mitchum.
Mrs. Jurado’s class were able to enjoy a lesson and tour of the koi pond and bonsai trees with Mike Waggener, who gave them an explanation and demonstration of sukiya architecture, tsukubai water basin, rock gardens, dressing in yukata, and the contents of a Japanese school child’s randoseru (backpack).
Both classes finished their activities and joined together at the koi pond to make sketches of the fish and explore the garden on their own with a scavenger hunt. At the end of the day the students went home happy and filled with exciting stories to share with their families.