Today is the Japanese National Holiday Umi No Hi or Marine Day. According to Wikipedia -- "The day was known as Marine Memorial Day (海の記念日 umi no kinen bi) until 1996. Communications Minister Shozo Murata designated the holiday in 1942 to commemorate the Meiji Emperor and his 1876 voyage in the Meiji-Maru, an iron steamship constructed in England in 1874. The voyage included a trip around the Ou district, embarking on a lighthouse boat in Aomori, and a brief stop in Hakodate before returning to Yokohama on July 20 of that year. "Marine Day" was declared a national holiday in 1995 as a day of gratitude for the blessingsof the oceans and to hope for the economic prosperity of maritime Japan. First observed on July 20, 1996, the Happy Monday System (ハッピーマンデー制度, Happī MandēSeido?) legislation moved the date from July 20 to the third Monday of July from 2003."
In English class we have been working on making comparisons. I gave them a worksheet this week and they had to rank the items from most to least (example –John is older than Sally, Sarah is older than John; answer Sarah, John, Sally.) In honor of Marine Day, I taught them the card game Go Fish. You may remember playing it when you were a child. You try to make matches by asking other players for cards you have in your hand. If the asked player has it, you get the card and the match. If not, you Go Fish and pick a card from the top of the deck. This does have a connection to the English lesson. At the end of the game, the students counted the matches to see who had the most matches, the least matches, and they made up sentences like on the work sheet to say someone has more than someone else, etc. They also made comparisons such as a Jack is higher than an 8, and an 8 is higher than a 4, etc. English lessons aren’t always dull.