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Couple in Japan Is Married By a Robot

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--Foreign Language
--Language Arts
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--Current Events
--Regions/Cultures
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--Computers

Grades

Grades 2-up

News Content

At a recent wedding ceremony, a robot named I-Fairy pronounced a couple man-and-wife.

Anticipation Guide

Invite students to identify on a world map the location of the country of Japan. Can students point to the location of Tokyo, Japans capital city?

Next, write on the board or a sheet of chart paper the word robotics. Ask students to share what the word means. In addition, ask them to identify robotic uses/robots with which they are familiar? They might share that robotics are used to perform some tasks in factories or processing plants; robotic creatures appear in movies and museums; and robots are sometimes used to perform dangerous tasks -- for example, robots might be used to explore new planets in space or to detonate bombs in war.

News Words

Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: robotics, ceremony, occasion, pronounced, encourage, and technician. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:

  • A _____ will take a look at the X-rays and determine if Jerome will need a cast on his ankle. (technician)
  • When the votes were counted, the registrar of voters _____ Brenda Anderson to be the new senator in our district. (pronounced)
  • When Sally graduates from college, she wants to enter the field of _____. (robotics)
  • When Jack came to school in a suit and tie, the principal asked, Whats the special _____?" (occasion)
  • If it rains, the graduation _____ will be held inside City Auditorium. (ceremony)
  • Stanleys father plans to _____ him to go on to veterinary school. (encourage)

    Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this weeks news story Couple in Japan Is Married By a Robot.

    More Facts to Share

    View the Wedding
    You might share with students this video of a recent wedding ceremony in Japan at which a robot named I-Fairy officiated. Let students know in advance that the brief video is in Japanese.



    You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this weeks news story.

  • I-Fairy, the robot, oversaw the marriage of Satko Inovet and Tomohiro Shibata. The wedding took place at a restaurant in Central Tokyo on May 16.
  • I-Fairys tinny voice instructed the groom to Please lift the brides veil." She waved her arms as the newlyweds kissed.
  • This was a lot of fun," said Satoko Inovet, the bride, who is 36 years old and works for robot manufacturer Kokoro Company. I think that Japanese have a strong sense that robots are our friends. Those in the robot industry mostly understand this I hope our actions set a precedent for helping robots spread through Japanese society."
  • Three of the I-Fairy robots are in use -- one each in Singapore, the U.S. and Japan, according to Kokoro company spokeswoman Kayako Kido. I-Fairy has 18 degrees of motion in its arms and mainly repeats preprogrammed movements and sounds, she said.
  • According to Kokoros I-Fairy Web page, the robots voice and movements can be changed with easy PC operations. It is well suited to be used as a receptionist for events. I-Fairys body movements are automatically generated by a computer that analyzes intervals" and intonation" of speech; in addition, movements such as waving or pointing can be programmed. While I-Fairy might be used as an automated speaker, it is usually operated by an individual sitting at a keyboard discreetly out of sight.
  • Husband Tomohiro Shibata, age 42, is a professor of robotics at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in central Japan.

    Use the News

    Print out this weeks Use the News printable activity page for students. Or use the questions on that page to check student comprehension.

    Use the News: Answer Key
    Reading for Meaning. 1. robotics, 2. ceremony, 3. technician, 4. pronounced, 5. Japan, 6. marriage, 7. occasion, 8. wreath, 9. encourage, 10. minister.
    Language Practice: Building Vocabulary. 1.b, 2.c, 3.b, 4.c, 5.a.

    Assessment

  • Use the Use the News printable activity page as an assessment (answers above).
  • Have students design (draw and/or create from found materials) their own I-Fantasy robots.
  • Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page. This weeks Think About the News question provides an ideal opportunity to use the Think-Pair-Share strategy. Give students a few minutes to think on their own. Then pair students so they can share and talk about ideas they have. After a few minutes join two pairs to create groups of four to share ideas and expand on them. Then you might join groups of four to create groups of eight for further brainstorming. Finally, talk about the question as an entire class.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    Reading the News

    You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

    Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

    Students might first read the news story to themselves; then you might call on individual students to read sections of the news aloud for the class.

    Photocopy the news story onto a transparency and project it onto a screen. (Or use your classroom computer's projector to project the story.) Read the story aloud as a class, or ask students to take turns reading it.

    Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write notes in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

    FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
    Have students draw/create their own I-Fantasy robots:
    GRADES K - 4
    NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.K-4.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
    NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.K-4.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.5-8.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
    NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.5-8.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
    NA-VA.9-12.2 Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
    NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
    NA-VA.9-12.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
    NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
    NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.10 Applying Non-English Perspectives
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    SCIENCE
    GRADES K - 4
    NS.K-4.5 Science and Technology
    NS.K-4.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    GRADES 5 - 8
    NS.5-8.5 Science and Technology
    NS.5-8.6 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NS.9-12.5 Science and Technology
    NS.9-12.7 History and Nature of Science

    TECHNOLOGY
    GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
    NT.K-12.2 Social, Ethical, and Human Issues
    NT.K-12.4 Technology Communications Tools
    NT.K-12.6 Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools

    See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.


    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
    Copyright © 2010 Education World

    05/27/2010


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