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Japanese Obentoo Activities

Students look at photos, video and a song to learn about the components of obento. They can also make a virtual obento using the link to the Erin site.

Activity 1

Show students photos of an おべんとう and lunch time at Japanese high school and check the names of food items. これは、にんじんです。にんじんがすきですか。The following video shows how obento fits into the school day.

Activity 2

Chant the Obento Song, and introduce the accompanying gestures, such as showing two fingers while singing にんじん.
これくらいの おべんとうばこに  Into an obento box of about this size
おにぎり おにぎり ちょっとつめて  We just put some onigiri, onigiri
きざみしょうがに ごましおふって We sprinkle sesame seeds on chopped ginger
にんじんさん さくらんぼさん  Carrots, cherries
しいたけさん ごぼうさん Mushrooms, burdock roots
あなのあいた れんこんさん Lotus root with holes
すじのとおったふき Stringy butterbur

Using the Obentoo Song worksheet, students can create their own version of the song, with obentoo ingredients that they would choose for themselves.

Obento Song (Word 660KB)

Activity 3: Making a Virtual Obento using the Erin site

Students click and drag the components of obento to create one they would like to eat.

Activity 4: Making an Obento

Show a short movie of how to make たこさんウインナー (octopus wiener), one of the most popular obento components among children in Japan.
How to make Octopus Wieners Video:
If students would like to try making obento containing octopus sausage at home, they can follow these instructions.

Make Obento at Home (PDF 505KB)

Additional Resources

  • Teacher’s Notes: Obento
Teacher’s Notes Obento (PDF 69KB)

Created by Himiko Negishi-Wood (2006 Apr)

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