Learning the 3 P’s with Chopsticks

 

There is something about eating with chopsticks that changes things. First of all, unless you are really good at it, you can’t eat fast. The process is super s….l….o….w. It  takes some coordination and practice to maneuver two sticks in one hand and pick up food. According to the Mobile Cuisine Chopsticks fun facts page, when you use chopsticks, you involve over 30 joints and 50 muscles in the fingers, wrist, arm, shoulder as well as thousands of nerves.

Second, when you are around other people who can’t use them very well, it’s funny.  At first it’s frustrating. Then when you look around and see that every other person is having the same problem, it’s time to laugh. Food can go anywhere and everywhere when you use chopsticks.

The 3 P’s

Last, a person can learn about the 3 P’s. That’s persistence, practice, and patience! Becoming a master of chopsticks requires all 3 P’s. Once you become skilled with chopsticks, you can eat anything (except maybe broth)! It feels just like riding a two-wheeler bike without falling down!

Those are some of the lessons we learned after we read Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Chopsticks is about a pair of chopsticks who are the best of buddies. They do everything together, but when one gets hurt, they have to learn how to manage on their own.

It feels uncomfortable and lonely in the beginning. Before long, things change and what was so difficult at first, is just a memory.

To find out what it’s like to use chopsticks, we had a little practice session. Everyone got a pair of chopsticks and a cup. Tables partners shared a plate of cereal. The object was to get as many pieces of cereal from the plate into the cup. No fingers allowed! We got frustrated. We had fun! We got to eat cereal!

Chopsticks is one of the nominees for the  2013 Washington Children’s Choice Award. More fun activities for this book can be found on her Chopsticks activity guide. If you like Chopsticks, you’ll probably enjoy Amy Krouse Rosethals’ other books too! Give Spoons or Exclamation Mark a try.

*************

What was your first experience using chopsticks like?

What are some things that come in pairs?

I used transition words to start new paragraphs. Can you name them?

Print Friendly

29 thoughts on “Learning the 3 P’s with Chopsticks

  1. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    That sounds like an interesting book! We used chopsticks in our class last year, when we had our Diamond Jubilee 60 second challenge day – one of our challenges was to eat as many cheerios (that’s a kind of cerial) as possible in a minute using chopsticks – it wasn’t easy! Some people were remarkably good at it, others got nothing to eat at all in their 60 seconds!
    This week, I was making a little video about lambs with a farmer friend of mine, and we had a dilemma about lambs… lambs are often born as twins or triplets, but my friend referred to them as ‘a pair of twins’ – then we thought, did that mean four? Can you have a pair of twins, when twins is already understood to be two?
    What about things that come in pairs which can’t come in ones… like a pair of trousers, or a pair of pants?
    Your friend,
    Mrs Monaghan

    • Dear Mrs. Monaghan,

      Lots of things come in pairs, although I admit I didn’t think about lamb twins! We talked about our right shoe goes with the left shoe. Salt goes with pepper. Mustard and ketchup are a pair. Pancakes are best with syrup.
      What would you add? I can think of a very British food that is always served together!

      Your friend,
      Mrs.Hembree

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    Food is one of my specialist subjects!!! I am pretty certain that you will be thinking about fish and chips… and on your chips you’d have salt and vinegar, or if you lived in Edinburgh, salt and sauce! In addition, we also have bubble and squeak, bangers ‘n’ mash, ice cream and jelly, bananas and custard, roast beef and yorkshire pudding… the ‘pairings’ are endless! I wonder how many of those things you eat where you are?!
    From
    Mrs Monaghan

    • Dear Mrs. Monaghan,
      Now we are talking a subject I love too! I have actually heard of a number of your pairings because I’ve been to England a few times. The new ones are salt and sauce, bubble and squeak, and ice cream and jelly. Really, ice cream and jelly? The same jelly that we put on sandwiches? Help me please! I don’t know bubble and squeak, but it sure makes me laugh!
      My favorite English pairing is fish and chips, followed by roast beef and yorkshire pudding. I actually make that at the holidays sometimes!
      Feeling quite hungry,
      Mrs. Hembree

      • Ahh, food!
        Well, bubble and squeak was NOT one of my favourite dinners, it’s the fried left over vegetables from Sunday lunch – usually mashed potatoes, and maybe some sprouts, cabbage, swede, carrots or peas – whatever you’ve got left! Melt a bit of butter in a frying pan, chuck in all your left over veg, fry for 10 minutes and serve with left over meat or a fried egg. In Ireland this is called Colcannon and in Scotland, Rumbledethumps. What a fabulous name! Another wonderful Scottish pairing (I’m married to a Scot!) is the traditional accompaniment to haggis – neeps and totties – which translates as potatoes and turnip!
        But to address the jelly issue – the stuff you put in sandwiches we call jam, and jelly is what I THINK you call jello? However, in Glasgow where we lived, a jam sandwich would be called a ‘jelly piece’ – so an interesting cross over there.
        May need a snack now,
        Mrs Monaghan

        • Dear Mrs. Monaghan,
          I learned so much in this comment about food I had NEveR heard of! What fun names! My favorite is Rumbledethumps!

          Then there’s the jam, jelly, jello terms. Jam and jelly we put in sandwiches. Jam has chunks of the fruit in it like blackberries or raspberries. Jelly on the other had is colored, but has no fruit bits in it at all. It almost looks like jello. Jello is what we have for dessert sometimes. It’s wiggly and jiggly and I”m not a huge fan.

          Having fun!
          Mrs. Hembree

  3. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    I learned some new things by reading your blog on chopsticks. I had no idea that 50 muscles are at use when someone uses them. My dad taught me how to use them a year or two. It was tricky at first but then I got the hang of it. A couple years ago, I used “kitty chopsticks”. They are regular chopsticks but they have a piece of folded paper and a rubberband. The paper is at the top in the middle of the chopsticks and the rubberband holds it in place. To be honest I still like to use them.

    From,
    Makenna
    Techie Kids

    • Dear Makenna,
      I think I would like a pair of your kind of chopsticks! It’s painful to watch me eat with chopsticks because I’m so slow at it. Maybe your style would help out this adult!
      From,
      Mrs. Hembree

      • Dear Mrs. Hembree,

        I went to a chinese resturant a couple days ago for dinner. I used normal chopsticks to eat my rice! It was pretty hard so I ended up scooping up the rice with my chopsticks. It was funny! Have you ever gotten frustrated with your chopsticks and you just stuck the stick right in your food and used them like a fork? When me and my best friend Amelia were little we used to pretend the chopsticks were bird beaks. Thanks for responding!

        I’ve never blogged before and I think its really fun!

        From,
        Makenna
        Techie Kids

  4. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    I saw some of your questions about chopsticks, I thought you might enjoy hearing my answers.

    I first learned how to use chopsticks at a Japanese resturant. It was hard at first but soon I mastered the skill. Your other question was ‘What other things come in pairs?’ Well clothes do, such as socks, shoes, and pants.

    Sincerely,
    Amelia
    Techie Kids

    • Dear Amelia,
      It sounds like you and Makenna are good at eating with chopsticks. I think I first tried using chopstick at a Chinese restaurant. I like the really fancy, glossy ones you sometimes get at nice Japanese restaurants. Except then there’s a new problem. They are so glossy that it’s even harder to pick up food!
      I can can think of some other things that go together, like apple pie and….
      From,
      Mrs. Hembree

      • Dear Mrs. Hembree,

        That’s so cool! I’ve never seen glossy chopsticks! I bet You didn’t know but, Makenna and I are best friends. I guess it’s just a weird coincidence that you mentioned her in your comment. I’m glad you responded, I’ve never really blogged before. It’s turning out to be really fun!

        I think ice cream goes with apple pie. Is that what you were thinking?

        Sincerely,
        Amelia
        Techie Kids

  5. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    I remember my first time using chopsticks. Everything I tried to pick up, just slipped right out of them. Eventually, I just started to spear my food with it. I have improved using persitence, practice, and patience. If you ever get the chance to use chopsticks, do try to learn. It is lots of fun!

    Your Blog Buddy,
    Meg
    Techie Kids

    • Dear Meg,
      It sounds like you are working on the 3 P’s with lots of due diligence! I’ll keep trying because I know eventually I will get better at it!
      From,
      Mrs. Hembree

  6. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    Some things that I think that come in pairs are scissors, pants, ears, and hands. I never knew that so many thing come in pairs.

    Your friend,
    Tad
    Techie Kids

    • Dear Tad,

      It’s interesting to think of not only the things that come in pairs, but also the things we pair up. For example, many people like peanut butter AND jelly.
      What would you pair up?
      From,
      Mrs. Hembree

      • Dear Mrs. Hembree

        Some things that I think that I would pair up is is a key and lock, keyboard and computer, right sock with left sock, and pencil with paper.

        Does your class switch to other rooms. We switch four times to four different teachers that teach two subjcts each. If so what do you teach or what is your favorite subject to teach to your students.

        Sincerely,
        Tad
        Techie Kids

        • Dear Tad,

          These pairs are awesome! I thought lock and key was especially creative. It’s so logical, yet it might not be the typical pair most people would think of.

          Because I am a librarian, my students come to my class. I have all of the students in the school. I love to teach lessons that incorporate technology with reading projects.

          In school, my favorite subject was English. I have always loved to read!
          From,
          Mrs. Hembree

  7. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    I would agree about using chopsticks being very sssssssslllllllloooooowwwwww. I would also agree with not eating to fast with them, it gives you a stomach ache.
    I also did not know that you involve 30 joints and 50 muscle in the fingers, wrist, arm, shoulder and thousands of nerves for using chopsticks. Plus I would like to read about the chopsticks, even though I am good at using them.

    To the first question on “what was my first experience in using the chopsticks like” it was very Hard! I could not even hold it in the right position. But now, I have the right position. Plus I was very young.

    To the second question, there are shoes, chopsticks, headphones with the ear piece, eyes, socks, ears, hands, scissors, and a whole bunch of pairs that I can’t even name anything else.

    And the answer to the last question, the answer is first, second, and last.

    Sincerely,
    Anthony
    TechieKids

    • Dear Anthony,
      From my first anecdotal, unscientific survey, I have decided that learning how to use chopsticks definitely requires lots of practice!

      What else have you learned to do that was hard at first and became progressively easier with practice? For me it was skiing.

      From,
      Mrs. Hembree

      • Dear Mrs. Hembree,

        The answer to that would be anything I did when I was growing up. From learning to walk, to writing with words, to playing basketball, to typing on a computer.

        Since you are a librarian , I got a question for you. What book series would you prefer for the 6th graders? My favorite series is the Secret Zoo. Have you heard of the book? If you have then maybe let the sixth graders read it. The book is about a boy and three friends trying to save a zoo from danger. But magic appears in the zoo and they find a hidden place where animals are out of there exibits. It takes two or three days for me to read it. Maybe the same for you guys.

        Plus, we are close to summer vacation. Are you excited?
        Hope you reply.

        Thanks for replying.

        Your friend,
        Anthony
        Techie Kids

        P.S. The bulldogs at the top of the page are really cool.

        • Dear Anthony,

          I wish we were as close to summer vacation as you! We just returned from April vacation and have about 10 weeks left to our school year.

          Thanks to your recommendation, I just put three of the Secret Zoo books in my book order cart! I read that the author is from Michigan. Have you met him before?

          Here are some series/authors that are very popular with our intermediate students:
          Among the Hidden by Margaret Haddix
          Hoot Flush and others by Carl Hiaasen
          Cirque du Freak (spooky)
          Anything by Anthony Horowitz
          All of the Erin Hunter Cat series
          the Hunger Games trilogy
          Anything by Rick Riordan

          How’s that for a list!
          Happy Reading!
          Mrs. Hembree

          • Dear Mrs. Hembree,

            Yes, I have met Bryan Chick. He came to our school assembly. He said that he would at least make 40 books for the series. He also said that there is another series about the same kids but older.

            That is also a good list of book series. I might want to ask our librarian to get some of these series.

            But I am sad that you have 10 weeks of school left, we have 5 weeks.

            For the top of the page from my last comment, do you have dogs? I have a sheltie, he is 5 years old ( in dog years that is 35). Don’t tell my dog about that. He also says,” I want to be with my sheeps. Please I want to get out of the car, I want to be with my sheeps.” (Because he’s a herding dog.) He also gets a little mad and tears up the toilet paper when we can’t let him come with us. But other than that, he is a nice doggy.

            Your blogger friend,
            Anthony
            Techie Kids

          • Dear Anthony,

            I am laughing as I type this! Toilet paper trouble is no fun at all! Yes, I have doggies! Two in fact. I have a Bernese Mountain Dog, who is nearly 6 and a pomeranian who is about 8. Reese is a big, huge, family dog and very relaxed. The pomeranian is a loud-mouthed barking 5 pound monster sometimes! I love the look of bulldogs, but I have never owned one. For some reason, very hairy dogs always seem to live at my house!

            I bet some of those books I suggested at already at your library. Have you read anything by Dan Gutman? I have a post about his books too.

            Happy reading!
            Mrs. Hembree

          • Dear Mrs. Hembree,

            I haven’t read any of Dan Gutman’s books. I will look for your post of him.

            Those dogs sound cute and all, but my dog is always muddy, overweight, and always tears up the house. Whenever he gets beautiful, he NEVER keeps it like that. He goes into the yard and just messes up himself. It also seems like a waste of money. But since we got a new person to make our dog look cuter at a lower price, he is actually looking better.

            From your Techie Kids friend,
            Anthony
            Techie Kids

  8. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    Wow super chop stick post. I couldn’t wait to try and have a go at using these wonderful chop stick once again. To tell you the truth when I have had the opportunity to use the chop stick I always chicken out. But now after reading your post I will hopefully master the art of using chop stick.

    Who would have thought you use 50 muscle alone when using these long bits of stick which we call chop sticks.
    Now I really know why I don’t attempt to use chop sticks it must be the pain level and not getting food into my mouth as fast enough if you know what I mean 🙂

    Happy chop sticking Mrs Hembree,

    AA 🙂

    • Dear AA,
      Absolutely I share your pain! I can use chopsticks, but apparently not good enough to get the food from my plate to my mouth! My husband is very talented with them, but if given a choice, I’ll take a fork!

      Chop! Chop!
      Mrs. Hembree

  9. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    I just love your new post about chopsticks. I remember some time last year dad bought me a pair of chopsticks and they were pink with a big bunny on top so that I did not have to use my fingers to hold them the bunny on top is a grip to hold on to when I’m eating noodles or asian food.

    Shoes could come in pairs, Socks can come in pairs and dolls can come in pairs.

    From,

    BB

    • Dear BB,

      What a fun pair of chopsticks! A pink bunny on top?! It would make it easier to both eat and laugh at the same time!

      I just thought about a new pair – dog and barking! My dog is barking at me while I type. What do you think? Does Pete the Cat have a favorite pair?

      Bunniless,
      Mrs. Hembree

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *