Thursday, September 25, 2008

Popcorn, Rice, and Chopsticks!

To continue our study of cultures, my class took their first lesson with chopsticks. It won't be our last. It started out very frustratingly and I heard a lot of, "I can't do it," and "I need help." The real problem was it was hard to explain how to hold the chopsticks. I was able to show them how to hold them initially, but you really do kind of adjust the grip to work for yourself. After much urging on my part to "keep trying", and the addition of popcorn to pick up, most of the students started experiencing success. When I ate with the students at Inagi Dainana Elementary School, the man helping me was very impressed with my ability to use the chopsticks. Not that I was an expert, but I could get the food to my mouth! He said that chopsticks are hard even for the Japanese children, so I guess my students should be pretty proud of themselves. When the popcorn started to run out, I scooped out rice for those that wanted it. I think everyone tried a little. I explained that the rice I made was short grained rice, so it was stickier and easier to eat. That is what they eat in Japan. I also showed them that in Japan it is perfectly alright to hold your bowl closer to your face to eat rice and noodles. Surprisingly enough, they were able to use the chopsticks to pick up clumps of rice, or to scoop it up. I was nervous about the activity at first, but they ended up doing a great job. Of course everyone wanted to take the chopsticks home. We'll have more opportunities later this year to eat with chopsticks. Now we have some practice under our belt. I am getting these pictures posted right away, because everyone was eager to be on the blog. If you haven't been pictured yet, don't worry, there will be other chances!


Shelby said...

I remember learning to use chopsticks in third grade. It is difficult but a good skill. Funny what things I remember and what I don't. :)

Jill said...

Heh, I grew up with chopsticks, and my mom tells me I don't hold them correctly. Never stopped me from getting the food in my mouth, so I'm good ... ;)