Japanese Carp Kites Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Japanese carp kites are beautiful pieces of art. With this lesson plan, a text lesson explains the history and purpose of the kites, a game reinforces concepts, and a hands-on activity gives them a chance to show understanding.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • say what a Japanese carp kite is
  • explain the history and significance of a Japanese carp kite
  • describe how to fly a Japanese carp kite


1 - 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.3

Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


  • Copies of the lesson Japanese Carp Kites: History & Meaning, one for each student
  • Images of Japanese carp kites, or models for student observation
  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Yarn or string
  • Wooden dowels about two or three feet long

Key Vocabulary

  • Koinobori
  • Carp kite
  • Children's Day
  • Samurai

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Show students images of carp kites or share models.
  • Ask students to notice and note what they see, writing their thoughts and ideas in their notebooks.
  • Break students into small groups to share their ideas, then share as a whole group.
    • What do they notice about the kites' appearance? What animal is it?
  • Ask students if they know what culture these kites are from and, if necessary, share that they are Japanese.
  • Allow students to share prior knowledge, if applicable, then preview vocabulary.

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