In mid-October, all of The Harker School’s grade 8 students learning Japanese became TV show hosts, celebrities, models and bodyguards right in their own classrooms.
Kumi Matsui, who teaches Japanese at the middle school, developed the Supermodel Project as a way for her students to learn how to describe physical characteristics and fashion in Japanese. Students pair up in groups of two to create a TV show in Japanese, with one student acting as the show’s host, and another student acting as a celebrity. Matsui says groups have even asked a few classmates to “take a role as an extra, such as crazy fans or bodyguards.” The rest of the class serves as the audience.
As far as celebrities go, Matsui says it’s up to the students to decide what kind of famous star they want to become, and “we’ve had an actress, actor, fashion models, tennis player and world famous criminal.” Each celebrity is able to choose his or her own outfit to wear on the show.
The students must take on the role of both TV show host and celebrity with different partners, giving them two chances to come up with TV show ideas, put together crazy outfits, and perform for their classmates.
Matsui says her original inspiration for the project was, in part, the Harker Fashion Show. By combining it with a Japanese TV show, the students got a chance to learn and practice new fashion-related vocabulary, not to mention come up with some fun ways to express themselves.
“Some of the students were so creative, and created very interesting and funny shows!” Matsui said.