Grass Sandals: Basho {FIAR}

Grass Sandals

Grass Sandals describes the journey Basho, a well known Japanese poet, takes on foot around Japan.  Littered with Basho’s beautiful haiku poems throughout, it is a simple tale of a man who loved to observe and experience the world around him

Grass Sandals: Resources

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Goals for this Study

In addition to working my way through the FIAR manuals, I also wanted to focus this study on the following:

  • Continue with our study of Asia by looking at Japan
  • Learn about the geography of Japan, especially why there are so many volcanoes (Japan has 110 active volcanoes)
  • To experience a bit of the culture of Japan
  • Complete some of the Japan lap book we began last week

Grass Sandals Inspired Activities

The girls both did some copy work of one of Basho’s poems and some work on haiku poetry and A8 wrote her own:

Grass Sandals

Grass Sandals

We tried some sushi, albeit not very authentic sushi, given it was made with candy, but tasty nonetheless!

Grass Sandals

The girls painted some Japanese dolls:



Grass Sandals

Grass Sandals: Learning About Japan

We used the following two books to meet my geographical goals:

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The first book is a simple and very clear introduction to the continents.  By the end of this year I want the two younger ones to know inside out the name and place of each continent, so in this quest, I chose to read the first book out daily.  The second book is a fun (albeit in depth) look into the stats of Asia.  I pick and choose the information I read depending on the country we are studying.  In this case I picked out all the details I could find pertaining to Japan.

Finding Japan on the map

We found Japan on our massive paper mache map :


Basho, the poet in Grass Sandals, decides he wants to walk the length and breadth of Japan.  This meant we could experience Japan through Basho’s eyes, covering many geographical features whilst doing so.

Making a Japan Table Cloth Map

As we came across Japanese geographical land marks and/or cultural ones mentioned in The Grass Sandals we photocopied pictures and stuck them on the Japan table cloth map we had drawn, along with any accompanying haiku:


Grass Sandals


The Science of Volcanos

I had a couple of books about volcanoes which we read together:

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We watched the following YouTube video:

We also looked for some videos about Japanese volcanoes, in particular those which have captured an eruption.

A did this comprehension activity, which was pitched just at her ability and contained both a fiction and non fiction comprehension activity.  We also did this very excellent (and free) activity together, which includes high quality videos as well as an interesting mapping activity which slowly reveals the ‘Ring of Fire’.  Here A8 is marking down the volcanoes in Asia:


Here is the final Asia map:

Grass Sandals

This is repeated for the Australasia section, the North America section and the South America section.  The maps were then cut out and smooshed together:

Grass Sandals

The Circle of Fire, as it is known, is very obviously shown on the four maps:

Grass Sandals

Using this information we added some of the main volcanoes in Japan onto our table cloth map:

grass Sandals

Grass Sandals mentions a few types of flowers (as you can see, added to the map above) that Basho found and enjoyed.  The girls attempted a water colour of a mass of flowers, a lesson from a review product Creating a Masterpiece.  We were all very pleased by the result:

Grass Sandals

Along side Grass Sandals, we have also been learning a bit more about Japan using another FIAR book called Grandfather’s Journey, which I shall be posting about next, before we move on to China.


  1. Love the map of the volcano rim. I have never heard of Grass Sandles. I will have to check it out.

  2. Wish I had known about FRIAR when mine were little. These are such great activities. The dolls are just beautiful and what can be better than candy sushi!!!!

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