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Each year the week of Thanksgiving we take a semi-lazy week in our Homeschool. We focus on Thanksgiving crafts and DIY, books, movies and games vs doing actual school work. One of my favorites as of today has been this Thank You Thanksgiving lesson plan.
Thank You, Thanksgiving Lesson Plan
Many children know we gather with friends and family for turkey at Thanksgiving, but how many of them actually take the time to think about what they are thankful for? The story Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim is the perfect story for encouraging exactly that.
If you are a classroom teacher, homeschool teacher, or just want to connect with this text a little further with your child, take a look below at three wonderful lessons to try with this book! These lessons are perfect for encouraging a deeper understanding of Thanksgiving and what it means to be thankful. Take a look!
Thank You, Thanksgiving Lessons
The activities below can be done in any order you wish. You can also space them out however you wish. Enjoy the flexibility and do what works for you and your students or child.
Before beginning any lesson, complete a read-aloud of the book. Be sure to take frequent pauses so you can make connections to the text, look at picture clues, make predictions, and define difficult words together.
The Thankful List
Objectives: Students will be able to compile a list of people they are thankful for and share why they are thankful for these people.
Supplies needed: Poster board, markers, optional family photos, index cards
Directions: When the child in this story returns home, her family is thankful for her and her actions. In this activity, students will be able to reflect on the people, not things, they are thankful for.
1. Write the title of the activity on the poster board. “The Thankful List” should be sufficient.
2. Invite students to share stories about the people they are thankful for and why. This can be done in a sharing circle or done as a writing activity.
3. On the Thankful List, students will add their own family and friends they are thankful for. They can do this either by adding pictures or by writing the names.
4. Soon, you will have a whole poster full of names and/or pictures of people the children are thankful for. This will be a beautiful sight! Now you can display it where everyone can see and enjoy it.
5. On an index card, have the children write a small note to the people they included on the board. It can say something as simple as “I am thankful for you,” and can act as a small token of their appreciation.
6. Conclude this activity by reflecting on what you have learned and opening up the floor for questions, answers, and connections.
Thankful Walk & Flip Book
Objectives: Students will be able to reflect on and compile a list of things they are thankful for.
Supplies needed: Index cards, markers
Directions: In the story, the young girl reflects on what she is thankful for as she walks to the store to fetch items for dinner. She mentioned her boots, the birds, and more as she walks along. Invite students to do the same!
1. Take a walk around your neighborhood or yard and make a special note of the items you are thankful for. Your warm coat, your shoes, the sun, and the trees that provide shade are just a few of the items you can take note of.
2. When you return to your workspace, talk about what you saw. Then, take 5-6 index cards (more if you need) and draw a simple picture or write the words of the items you are thankful for. You can dedicate as much time as needed to the portion of this exercise.
3. When done, invite students to share their cards. They can do this in sequential order as the character did. Have then show each card and tell about the item and why they are thankful for it.
4. After everyone has had the chance to share put the note cards together and staple them into a flipbook for future reference and enjoyment.
5. Conclude this activity by reflecting on what you have learned and opening up the floor for questions, answers, and connections.
The Partner Reading Pair and Share
Objective: Students will be able to practice their fluency skills by reading to and with a partner. Students will engage deeper in the text by completing a series of questions related to the text.
Supplies needed: Book
1. Pair students up with a copy of the book. Have them begin to partner read. This can be done in several ways. They can take turns reading to each other, or they can read as a chorus together. Or, they can even do a combination of both methods.
2. When they have read the book at least twice, have them ask each other a series of at least three questions. Give them some sample questions they can choose from. These can include: What surprised you about this story? What did this story make you think of? What was your favorite part and why? Allow plenty of time for these conversations to take place.
3. Once the children have had a chance to dig further into the text, invite them to share their findings with the rest of the group.
4. Conclude this activity by reflecting on what you have learned and opening up the floor for questions, answers, and connections.
As you can see, this book is the perfect choice not only for practicing those vital reading and comprehension skills but for helping children embrace the Thanksgiving season even more. Grab a copy of the Thank You Thanksgiving book and give some of these activities a try!