This is a non-fiction writing piece comparing the use of chopsticks vs. a fork and knife.
Learning How to Use Chopsticks in China
I lived in China for 5 years, and had no idea how to use chopsticks when I moved there. My hand cramped that entire first year.
However, over the course of time, I figured out how to use them. There wasn’t a specific day when I concretely learned. Week after week, it got a little easier and I could eat a little faster until I was using them without thinking about it.
Here in the USA, I’ve found chopsticks to be a big hit when I bring them to a writing lesson!
Hot-Tamales and Chopsticks?!
Check out the Hot Tamales-Journal writing prompt. Kids use chopsticks to eat the hot cinnamon candy and then write about it! It’s still one of my favorite lessons to date.
Back to chopsticks, forks and knives. For this lesson, try to bring in chopsticks as well as plastic forks and knives for students to hold and handle.
I buy chopsticks at a local Chinese restaurant. They charge me $1.00 for 20. Or you can buy 100 of the exact same brand on Amazon*.
In addition, bring bags of small and big marshmallows (or any candy/snack of your choice) for them to pick up using each utensil.
Common Core State Standards
NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA.LITERACY.W.K.2, W.1.2, W.2.2, W.3.2, W.3.2.A, W.3.2.B, W.3.2.C, W.3.2.D, W.4.2, W.4.2.A, W.4.2.B, W.4.2.C, W.4.2.D, W.4.2.E, W.5.2, W.5.2.A, W.5.2.B, W.5.2.C, W.5.2.D and W.5.2.E
NOW THE LESSON!
To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post. The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use. Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7
*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.*
Tell the Story Line
Begin the lesson by telling the story line: “You’re going to compare the use of chopsticks and a fork and knife using facts. This is a non-fiction piece so we will only use information and not our own opinion. You won’t use the words I or my.”
Give each student a set of wooden chopsticks* and a plastic fork and knife to hold and handle.
Using a T-Chart on the board, brainstorm information about chopsticks versus forks and knives.
Typically used in Asia-China, Japan, Korea
Usually wood or plastic
2 sticks for pinching food
Meat is cut before cooking and served in small pieces
Chopsticks pick up small pieces
FORKS and KNIVES
Typically used in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Australia
Usually made of metal, not wood
Plastic for convenience
Forks have a handle with 4 prongs for poking
Knives have a handle with a long one-sided blade for cutting
Meat is cut after cooking and served in large pieces
Forks and knives cut the large pieces
The side of a fork can be used to cut soft foods like eggs or cake
BOTH are used to eat and can be used for twirling noodles
USE, USED and COMMONLY
Next, write the words USE, USED and COMMONLY on the board. These are words that are often misspelled. Encourage the writers to use at least one, if not all of these words in their writing.
Show the 5 Sections
Forks and Knives
As mentioned in my writing prompts introduction: K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.
NOW TO WRITE!
Guide the students through each step. They are free to use their own words.
- First, write an engaging introduction. Ask the reader questions about chopsticks, forks and knives.
- State the main idea that chopsticks, forks and knives are both used for eating, but are also very different. Write any other similarities.
- Next, write all about chopsticks.
- Then, write all about forks and knives.
- Lastly, write a conclusion.
Print the Lesson
For the art accent, students can simply glue their chopsticks, plastic fork and knife to the border.
Spelling/Vocabulary-4-11 Words: (#3 of our Top 5 Writing Games) Use the words USE and USED to play!