I'm excited to be linking up again with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It, and my project is in honor of Thanksgiving!
I have to say that Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday! I know many of you out there have to spends hours in the kitchen on Thanksgiving starting at the crack of dawn. I have thus far in my life been very spoiled on Thanksgiving. My mom and dad carry the heavy load of providing a wonderful dinner for our family.
In years past, it was only my parents, my husband and I, and our two kids, but now that my brother has moved back home from the Air Force, our brood has expanded to eleven, still a small number compared to the huge family feasts that I hear about from my friends.
If I could have someone else cook it and still fit into my jeans, I would eat a Thanksgiving meal every Sunday! One of my favorite foods in the world is stuffing, but since I discovered my allergy to wheat (and many other things), I rarely have it. But on Thanksgiving my dad always makes gluten-free stuffing and a gluten-free pecan pie. Yum! I'm not saying I contribute nothing to the Thanksgiving meal, but my cheesy potatoes and my gluten-free version of Famous Dave's cornbread muffins (ever had em? so good!) are easy compared to the daunting task of preparing the Thanksgiving turkey.
This week I have been working on a Thanksgiving Bundle, and I finally finished it today in between running back and forth to watch the Lions score a big win over the Bears! How appropriate since the Lions are the originators of the Thanksgiving Day football game.
In my school district we are lucky enough to get a half day of school on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So, I have loved dedicating this morning to fun Thanksgiving activities. I tweaked some of my oldies but goodies and can't wait to try them out myself this year! I will have to come back and share some pictures with you guys later, but I can give you a heads-up on some of my favorites.
For me no Thanksgiving would ever be complete with watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! Remember looking forward to all these shows as a kid, only being able to watch them the one time a year they were on? The good ol' days... Anyway some of the activities I created for my Thanksgiving Extravaganza are inspired by the feast served by Chef Snoopy in that classic video.
The first thing I do is read aloud The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola.
This tells the history of popcorn including how colonists learned to love it from the Native Americans they encountered in the New World. Then my students and I would do the Popcorn Olympics! I'm so excited to try out my new and improved version this year with my kids! I think they will love it!
Then as a grand finale to our morning we will watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and I am going to serve up a Chef Snoopy feast, including toast, popcorn, pretzel sticks, and jelly beans. How fun is that?!
I'm also looking forward to trying out a couple of other fun activities that I have added to my Thanksgiving repertoire for this year. One is a persuasive writing activity. One of my favorite picture books to read to my kids around Thanksgiving is Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson.
This humorously written story is about Sarah Hale who wrote persuasive letters to five different presidents trying to convince them to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Don't you think this is a great book to show students the power of persuasive writing? (Me too!)
We have already done some persuasive writing with close reading activities, but I wanted to introduce the idea to them of alternative views and refuting them. Google saved me once again! I found the books I Wanna Iguana and I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman Orloff.
Both of these books are written as a series of letters from adorable Alex to his parents requesting (you guessed it!) an iguana and a new room and the letters from his parents in response. They are the perfect way to show all of Alex's reasons he uses to try to convince his parents, their reasons for opposing his requests, and the way he refutes their evidence. I just read these books for the first time this weekend, and I laughed out loud! I know my kids will too!
So, what I am having my students do is write a letter to their family from the point of view of a turkey, and their task is to convince them not to eat turkey for Thanksgiving. They must provide reasons of their own and then consider alternate views and refute them. I can't wait to see what they come up with!
At Halloween my students had so much fun with the Boodoku puzzles I created I decided to make a Thanksgiving version. These are available separately or as a part of my bundle. The only problem was I just couldn't come up with another catchy name...bummer. Any ideas?
Well, those are just a few of the things in my Thanksgiving Bundle. Here's a preview of some of the other goodies you can find in it.
If you would like to check it out, you can find it at my TPT Store.
Have a great week, and make sure you stop by 4th Grade Frolics to see what everyone else has been up to in Monday Made It!