Thomas Street students cap Chinese studies with a meal

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Second-graders at Thomas Street Elementary concluded three weeks of studying about China with a Chinese feast.
About 120 students visited Sun-Kai restaurant in east Tupelo last week to dine on sweet-and-sour chicken, egg rolls and fried rice. Some of the students even attempted to use chopsticks.
Restaurant staff spoke to the children about the Chinese New Year and the red dragon dance.
Before visiting Sun-Kai, the students had learned about Chinese inventions, animals, calligraphy and folk tales, among other things.
“It helps them understand that the world is bigger than their community and to understand other cultures,” said second-grade teacher Samantha Cox.
Principal Debbie Davis said the lessons are part of the school’s social studies curriculum, which calls for the exploration of different cultures and countries. Kindergartners study Japan, and first-graders learn about Germany. The students also incorporate art into those studies.
“They will learn that our culture is much different than someone else’s,” said second-grade teacher Sharronda Evans. “Students assume everyone eats the same things they do. This lets them have an experience and learn that we have to appreciate different cultures.”
Madison Denton, 8, who was born in China, said she enjoyed learning more about the country with her classmates.
“It has been a lot of fun,” she said.

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@journalinc.com.