Monday, October 13, 2008

"Daruma Doll" Lesson Plan


Teacher: Cydnee Perman Grade: 4

Title: Bodhidharma/Daruma Doll

Brief History/Background:
A Daruma is a spherical doll with a red painted body and a white face without pupils. Daruma dolls represent Bodhidharma, a Zen monk who meditated for almost 9 years while sitting in the zazen meditation posture. He didn't move at all, and after nine years he found he had lost the use of his arms and legs. In fact, they had withered away.

Most Daruma dolls are now manufactured by hand in Takasaki (Gunma prefecture). Throughout the year, but traditionally on New Year's Day, one makes a wish or sets a goal and paints one black pupil onto the Daruma doll. When the goal is reached or the wish comes true one then paints on the second pupil and dispose the doll on the following New Year's Day.

Darumas are made with no arms or legs. They have weighted bottoms so that no matter how you roll them, they will always return right side up. Some say this symbolizes the spirit of patience, perseverance, and determination shown by the priest.

Standards:
9.1 Production, Performance, and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts – Students will create a Japanese Daruma doll.
9.2 Historical and Cultural Contexts – Students will be introduced to the history of the Buddhist priest Bodhidharma and become familiarized with the cultural significance of the Daruma dolls.
9.4 Aesthetic Response – Students will discuss the aesthetics of how everyday objects, such as toys, can be considered art.
7.4 The Human Characteristics of Places and Regions – Students will learn one significant tradition of the Japanese people.
12.5 World Languages in the Community (Content Standards) – Students will learn the Daruma doll chant in Japanese and English.

Goal:
To create a Daruma doll and play the game associated with the tradition of the dolls.

Objectives:
1. Students will be introduced to the history of the Buddhist priest Bodhidharma and become familiarized with the cultural significance of the Daruma dolls.
2. Students will appreciate how everyday objects, such as toys, can be considered art.
3. Students will construct a Daruma doll and appreciate the traditional game that accompanies their presence in the celebration of the Japanese New Year.

Requirements:
1. A completed Daruma doll.

Resource Materials/Visual Aids:
• Teaching board explicating the project and displaying photographs of Daruma dolls and toys.
• Completed exemplar Daruma doll.
• Another visual aid (teaching board) that has the Japanese and English versions of the Daruma chant.

Supplies/Materials:
• Oval balloons
• Newspaper
• Wheat paste
• Tempera paint
• Paintbrushes

Teacher Preparation:
• Research of the Daruma doll tradition, and research of Bodhidharma.
• Construction of a Daruma exemplar.
• Construction of a teaching board.

Teaching:

Introduction: “Can anyone tell me how they celebrate the New Year with friends or family?” Explain what Daruma dolls are and the tradition associated with them in the celebration of the Japanese New Year. Continue to explain the history behind the Daruma doll (the history of Bodhidharma).

Directions:
1. Blow up oval balloons.

2. Tear up lots of strips of paper and soak them in wheat paste. Cover the balloon completely with the strips. Let dry.

3. Add extra layers of strips to the bottom, rounded end. This will give the bottom the extra weight it needs so that the daruma will end up in an upright position.

4. The daruma is traditionally painted red, the color of the robes worn by the priests. Paint the body and the features on the face. Remember not to paint the eyes yet.

5. Make a wish and paint one eye. Be patient.

6. Explain that when the wish comes true, students should paint the other eye.

7. To play the game, the teacher and students sit in a circle with their legs and arms folded. They sway from side to side in rhythm and chant in unison:

Daruma-san, Daruma-san Mr. Daruma, Mr. Daruma
Nira miko shimasho Let us stare at each other
Warattara dame yo You had better not laugh
Ichi ni san shi go One, two, three, four, five

Closure:
Students should return brushes to the sink area, where they should also wash their hands. The game will only be played once the Daruma dolls are completed and have had a chance to dry (at the beginning of the class following the class in which we paint the dolls). I will call on one student from each table to return the other materials to me at the front of the room (including trays of wheat paste for the first class, and jars of paint during the second class).

Critique/Evaluation/Assessment:
This lesson, because we will be constructing a specific form (the Daruma dolls), may restrict creativity of the students. We will use the traditional red and black paint that is customarily used to create the Daruma dolls. Therefore, evaluation/assessment of the students production will be a reflection of work habits and contributions to group discussion.

Determine whether each student’s participation for each category was:
Good
Average, or
Needs work

Helpful
Was the student cooperative & generous in discussions & in helping others without doing it for them?
Were good questions asked?

Work Habits
Did the student stay on the job?
Were conversations with classmates about the artwork, not other topics?

Cleanup
Did the student participate in cleanup in a timely and energy efficient manner?

Extension:
If you could create a garden that reflects ideals of peace and harmony, what would it include? Draw a picture of this garden the way you imagine it in your head. [Next week we will be going on a field trip to the Fairmount Park Japanese House and Garden.]

Time Budget:
Class 1:
5 minutes – Introduction
3 minutes – Distribution of materials
32 minutes – Construction of Daruma dolls
5 minutes – Cleanup

Class 2:
3 minutes – Review discussion of what we did in last class
5 minutes – Handing out of Daruma doll forms (unpainted), and distribution of materials
32 minutes – Painting of Daruma dolls, possible time to work on extension activity
5 minutes – Cleanup

*During the first 10 minutes of the next class we will be playing the Daruma game.

Vocabulary:

We will chant the Daruma song in Japanese, with their English translations on a teaching board at the front of the room:
Daruma-san, Daruma-san Mr. Daruma, Mr. Daruma
Nira miko shimasho Let us stare at each other
Warattara dame yo You had better not laugh
Ichi ni san shi go One, two, three, four, five

Bodhidharma - a Zen monk who meditated for almost 9 years while sitting in the zazen meditation posture so that his legs were of no use anymore.

Safety Concerns:
None. (Excluding possible extreme wheat allergies).

Bibliography/References:
• http://www.oberlin.edu/amam/asia/daruma/Default.html
• http://web.archive.org/web/20070419121727/http://www.indiana.edu/~japan/LP/LS11.html

1 comment:

m0untain said...

This is fantastic!!! I will use this for a lesson plan I'm doing for children in San Francisco. Thank you for providing such a great resource!!!