Lesson 2.5: Social Studies Connection

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Saturday School

What do you do on Saturday mornings? Do you sleep late? Do you play ball? Or, do you go to school? Many children in San Jose, California go to Saturday school to learn to speak and read Chinese.

Some of the children who attend the Saturday school were born in China. Others are American-born Chinese. Most of the children speak some Chinese at home. Some do not speak Chinese at all.

Michelle Shih came to the Saturday school when she was a teenager. She did not know how to read or write Chinese. Now, Michelle is a teacher at the school. Michelle says, "I think it's really important for Chinese kids to know their culture and to be able to speak."

Another teacher says, "Chinese doesn't only have to be taught to Chinese kids." Anyone who wants to learn to speak, read, and write Chinese may attend. There are even classes for adults.

"San shi miao," a math teacher calls out. This tells her students that they have only 30 seconds left to complete their math test. Thirty seconds later, the clicking of abacus beads comes to a halt.

In this school, children learn Chinese history and culture. They may take classes in tai-chi, kung-fu, and yoga. They may learn Chinese brush art and how to play Chinese chess. They may even take classes in tennis and soccer.

Word Wise

attend:
To be present at: Ten children will attend the party.

culture:
The beliefs and ways of living of a group of people: It is fun to learn about our own culture and the culture of others.

abacus:
A math tool made up of moveable beads: I use an abacus to count and add large numbers.

tai-chi:
A system of slow-moving exercises, designed to make a person relaxed: Mona practices tai-chi in her backyard.

kung-fu:
A type of self-defense: Shawn takes kung-fu lessons after school.

yoga:
A system of stretches and exercises: My grandmother takes a yoga class to relax after work.

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Activity

You know that the words in a dictionary are listed in A-B-C order, or alphabetical order.

Look at the list of words below. These words all start with the letter b. Do you know a rule for putting them in alphabetical order?

  • bean
  • blow
  • bread
  • bunny

Rule: For words beginning with the same letter, look at the second letters to put the words in alphabetical order.

On a sheet of paper, write these words in alphabetical order. Remember to use the rule for putting words that begin with the same letter in alphabetical order.

  • attend
  • culture
  • abacus
  • Chinese
  • Chess
  • tai-chi
  • kung-fu
  • yoga

Data Hunt

School on Saturday Quiz
Compare the number of students attending various classes on Saturday.