Quiz of the Week 2 – (3rd Grade): RL.3.3, RL 3.1, RL 3.5, RL 3.2
The Ten-Thousand Stroke Chinese Character by Diana C. Conway
Little Liang lived in China a long time ago. When he turned seven, his father said, “Tomorrow you will start school and learn to write.”
“No, thank you,” said Little Liang. “I like playing outside better.” “School tomorrow, my boy. Not another word from you.”
So the next morning Little Liang went off to school, writing brush in hand. His teacher showed him how to make one stroke to write the number one.
“This is easy,” said Little Liang. The next day he learned to make two strokes to write the number two. “Well,” he said, “who needs to go to school? I’ll bet I can write the
number three all by myself. ”Sure enough, on the third day of school, the teacher wrote “three” on the paper just the way he expected.
“That’s all the learning I need!” said Little Liang. He sneaked out of school and went looking for birds in the woods. The next day he left home with his schoolbag. But he didn’t go to school.
“I know all there is to know,” he said. “I’ll just go fishing.” Off he walked to the river. On the way he met Old Mr. Wan. “Why aren’t you in school today, Little Liang?”
“I know all there is to know, Mr. Wan.
“That’s wonderful,” said the old man. “I myself never learned many characters. Will you help me write a letter to my son?”
Little Liang went to Mr. Wan’s house. He took his brush and ink from his schoolbag. “I’ll write the address first. What’s your son’s name?”
“Wan Bai Qian.” In Chinese, “wan” means ten thousand, “bai” means one hundred, and “qian” means one thousand.
Little Liang began to make brush strokes. One, two, three, four, five . . . ten . . . fifteen . . . twenty . . . thirty.
Soon his hand hurt from so much writing. “Look how many strokes I’ve made! Why is your son’s name Mr. Ten Thousand instead of Mr. One?”
“I’m so sorry, Little Liang. Why don’t you use my hair comb? You can dip it in the ink and make many lines at once.”
Just then the schoolteacher walked past the door. He heard the name “Little Liang.” He looked inside and saw a boy writing with a comb.
“What have we here?” he asked. “I’m writing Mr. Wan’s name.” The teacher picked up the brush and made three strokes.
“This is the way to write the number ten thousand,” he said. “Only three strokes?” Little Liang’s face got as red as a cherry.
“Only three strokes,” said the teacher. “The 10,000 Stroke Chinese Character”
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