Japanese Tea Ceremony Lesson Plan

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Use this lesson to help students understand the history and steps of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Students will create a flow chart of the ceremony's steps and re-enact the ceremony in small groups using various props.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the history of the Japanese Tea Ceremony
  • describe the importance of tea and the Tea Ceremony to the Japanese
  • identify the steps of the Japanese Tea Ceremony


1.5-2 hours


Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


  • Show students a tea cup and ask how many of them had tea parties when they were younger. Discuss what might have happened at a child's tea party.
  • Tell students they will be examining a different kind of tea party with rich cultural roots and precise customs.
  • Pass out copies of the lesson Japanese Tea Ceremony: History and Steps, one to each students, and ask students to read the first two sectins, 'The Japanese Tea Ceremony' and 'History of the Japanese Tea Ceremony.' Discuss the following questions with the class:
    • How could the Japanese Tea Ceremony be considered an artform?
    • What role did monks play in the development of the Japanese Tea Ceremony?
    • How is spirituality incorporated or symbolized in the Japanese Tea Ceremony?
    • What custom in your culture might be similar to the Japanese Tea Ceremony? How are they the same and different?
  • Ask students to finish reading the lesson.
  • Divide the class into small groups and have students review the steps of the Japanese Tea Ceremony by creating a flow chart of the ceremony's steps.
    • Provide each group with chart paper and markers to create their flow chart.
    • Students should use words and pictures to show the progression of the Japanese Tea Ceremony from beginning to end.
    • When finished, students should share their flow charts with the class.
  • Have students complete the lesson quiz.

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