Lesson Plan I: Trip to Korea 2012

Lesson Plan I: Becoming an adult in Korea

By Tiffany E. Jon

First Grade ESL teacher at Dr. King School in Urbana, Illinois

Title: Becoming an Adult in Korea

Target Grade Levels: First grade

Overview: During our tour we stopped at a Confucian school that presented traditional ceremonies: tea, marriage, and coming of age. I learned so many things from the way the hairstyle changed to the way we held a teacup. I decided that just as precious as these ceremonies were to Korean culture, there must be similar traditions among the international students at our school that point to their culture's values. I thought this would be a more authentic way to understand Dr. King's international students beyond holidays. Starting with Korea, my students will be studying their heritage (India, Guatemala, Iran, Congo) through the lens of traditional ceremonies honoring the transition from childhood to adult.

Objective: To teach children about Korean culture through the basic components of the coming of age ceremony, focusing on the changing clothing.

Length of Time: 30 minutes

Vocabulary: ceremonies, hanbok, jeogori, bokkeon, paji, chima, gaat, jokki, guile

1. Fill out an adult vs. childhood life t-chart:

What can adults do? What can children do?

2. Introduce the purpose of the lesson: We're going to learn about ceremonies that recognize the change from being called a child to being called an adult. There are different customs in different countries and we're going to start with Korea. Now if you go to Korea, people wear jeans and drive cars and have cell phones. A long time ago, before cars and phones, people wore very different clothes and had different customs. People wore traditional clothing called a hanbok. Hanboks were different for children and for adults.

3. Compare the picture of an adult versus the picture of a child in Korea. Discuss the different ways the adults and children are dressed in the picture. One of the important ways Korean people show people are growing up is the way they dress.

4. Label the children's outfit together as a group.

     jeogori (dress for boys and girls)

     bokkeon (boy's hat)

     jokki (vest)

     guile (girl's hat)

Label the pieces of adult clothing.

     Women's                        Men's

     jeogori (jacket)              jeogori (jacket)

     chima (skirt)                  paji (pants)

     jokduri (woman's hat)    gaat (man's hat)

5. We will have an abbreviated Coming of Age ceremony where girl students will wear a yarn braid and boys will wear a paper bokkeon. Students will be given a new name in Korean, new clothes, and the boys will be given a gaat and girls will roll their braid up with a stick in the middle of the bun. To end the ceremony we will drink tea together and have a Korean cookie party.


1. Can students identify different pieces of clothing?

2. Students will remember the different parts of the ceremony (changing name, changing clothes, changing hair/hat.)