Momotaro, The Peach Boy The Story of Tanabata Hats for the Jizos Urashima Taro How the Years Were Named The Tongue-Cut Sparrow




In the broadest sense, literacy is the ability to understand and communicate ideas in order to participate in society.  This definition includes oral and print literacies as well as visual literacy, the ability to understand and express oneself in terms of images.  

Kamishibai are a unique medium, combining oral, visual, and print literacies.  Unlike books, kamishibai stories are experienced primarily in a shared, group setting. The stories, which rely primarily on lively dialogue, are highly dramatic and engage students of all ages, both emotionally and intellectually. The large, illustrated cards (15 x 11), which can be manipulated to produce a variety of dramatic effects, make it possible for an entire class enjoy the story simultaneously.  

The majority of states have codified literacy standards that they consider essential for an educated populace.  The following are examples from New York State and Washington State: 


This involves comprehending, interpreting and critiquing imaginative texts in every medium, drawing on personal experiences and knowledge to understand the text and recognizing the social, historical and cultural features of the text. 


S2_1_1: read a variety of literature of different genres

S2_1_2: recognize some features that distinguish the genres

S2_1_3: understand the literary elements of setting, character, plot, theme and point of view and compare those features to other works and to their own lives. 


This involves presenting interpretations, analyses, and reactions to the content and language of a text.  Speaking and writing for literary expression involves producing imaginative texts that use language and text structures that are inventive and often multilayered. 


S2_2_1: present personal responses to literature that make reference to the plot, characters, ideas, vocabulary and text structure.

S2_2_2: explain the meaning of literacy works with some attention to meanings beyond the literal level.

S2_2_3: create their own stories, poems and songs using the elements of the literature they have read and appropriate vocabulary.   


 In writing and illustrating their own kamishibai stories, the student will also be communicating through the visual arts by developing ideas and techniques, organizing art elements and forms into a creative work, refining the work based on feedback and presenting the work to others.   


1.1  Understand arts concepts and vocabulary.

1.2  Develop arts skills and techniques. 

2.1 Apply a creative process in the arts:

       Conceptualize the context or purpose

       Develop ideas and techniques.

       Organize art elements, forms, and or principles into a creative work.

       Reflect for the purpose of elaboration and self-evaluation.

       Refine work based on feedback.

       Present work to others.



Kamishibai for Kids ~ Cathedral Station ~ PO Box 629 ~ New York, NY 10025
Tel: 212-663-2471 ~