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Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Lesson Plans - One Last Round-up of Resources

American Thanksgiving is now less than one week away. Over the last month I've shared a bunch of resources for teaching and learning about Thanksgiving. If you're looking for some Thanksgiving lesson plan resources to use in the next six days, take a look at the suggestions below.

A digital wall of thankfulness.
Create a Padlet wall for your students on which they can share what they are thankful for this year. Students can post text notes, picture notes, or video notes about what they are thankful for. Another way to do this is to have students create drawings of what Thanksgiving means to them then take pictures of those drawings to post on your Padlet wall. Click here for directions on using Padlet.

Thanksgiving storyboards and cards. 
On the Storyboard That teacher guide site you'll find five Thanksgiving lesson plans. As you would expect, all of the lesson plans incorporate the use of Storyboard That. All five lesson plans are appropriate for elementary and middle school ELA. The five lesson plans are The Story of Thanksgiving, Symbols of Thanksgiving, What Thanksgiving Means to Me, Thanksgiving Cards, and I Am Thankful for... 
Click here for directions on creating Storyboard That Thanksgiving cards. 

Record Thanksgiving stories with parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a StoryCorps initiative intended to facilitate conversations between students and adult family members over Thankgiving weekend. StoryCorps has released a toolkit for teachers to use to guide students in the process of recording interviews with family members. The toolkit recommends using the StoryCorps mobile apps to capture the conversations. The StoryCorps mobile apps includes question prompts and a suggested script for conducting interviews.

Multimedia turkeys.
This idea was inspired by my sister who has my nieces (ages 3 and 6) adding items to their "thankful posters" throughout the month. Throughout the month leading up to Thanksgiving she has my nieces write down the things for which they are thankful. When I saw my sister post this idea on Facebook, I thought that it was a perfect fit for a ThingLink project.

ThingLink makes it easy to create interactive, multimedia images. Upload a picture of a turkey and you or your students can add interactive pins to it. Those pins can include text, images, audio, or video. You can go back and edit your image at any time. So in that way you could have students add one new item to their images every day or two. Images can be emailed and or embedded into blog posts so that your students' parents can see them.

Thanksgiving vocabulary lessons.
BoomWriter publishes handy writing lesson plans for most major holidays in the United States. This month, as you might expect, they published lesson plans about Thanksgiving. BoomWriter is offering three lesson plans one for elementary school and two appropriate for middle school and high school students. BoomWriter's Thanksgiving lesson plans utilize a word bank of key vocabulary terms that students need to utilize in completing writing assignments. Through the BoomWriter platform you can monitor your students' progress on their assignments. You can give feedback to your students through the BoomWriter platform.

Thanksgiving readings by grade level.
ReadWorks is a non-profit service that offers hundreds of lesson plans and more than two thousand reading non-fiction and fiction passages aligned to Common Core standards. A quick search for the term "thanksgiving" on ReadWorks yields 41 articles. Articles are labeled with a grade level and lexile score. Most articles are accompanied by a set of reading comprehension and or discussion questions.

Thanksgiving foods.
Favorite Thanksgiving dishes, like all favorite foods, vary from region to region. The New York Times has a neat site about the favorite Thanksgiving dishes served in each state (and D.C. and Puerto Rico). The United States of Thanksgiving lists the signature Thanksgiving dish of each state. Select a state and find a dish. The recipe for each dish is included on each page.

Thanksgiving videos.
When Is Thanksgiving? Colonizing America is an episode in John Green's Crash Course on US History. The video starts with the history of Jamestown before moving onto Plymouth. Green does a good job of illustrating the differences between why and how each colony was established. This is video is suitable for high school students, but Green's use of sarcasm (which I actually like) and the details would probably be lost on middle school students.


The History Channel's History of Thanksgiving provides a short overview of the history of American Thanksgiving. This video is suitable for middle school students.



And just for fun here's a video that explains the differences between American and Canadian Thanksgiving. This video is appropriate for high school students. (I would stop it before the credits roll at the end).



Disclosure: Storyboard That and BoomWriter are advertisers on FreeTech4Teachers.com.