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. I remember my hand cramping the first year.
Then, over the course of time, I figured out how to use them. There wasn’t a specific day when I concretely learned. I just had to use them and each 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?!
(If you haven’t already, you might enjoy reading the Journal Prompt-Hot Tamales where the 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.
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
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Tell the Story Line
- Tell 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.”
- Give each student a set of wooden chopsticks* and a plastic fork and knife to hold and handle. Bring a small and big marshmallows (or any candy/snack of your choice) for them to pick up with each utensil.
2. 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
Meat is 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
Handle with 4 prongs for poking
Handle with long one-sided blade for cutting
Meat is cut after cooking
Meat is 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 can be used for twirling noodles
USE, USED and COMMONLY
- 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.
- Write an introductory statement using 1-2 sentences
- Write all about chopsticks.
- Write all about forks.
- Write how the two are similar.
- Write a concluding statement.
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 (Use the words USE and USED if your students have a hard time spelling these words correctly)