Ideas for Thanksgiving

I absolutely love this time of year! The kids are in a great routine, the weather is cooler, and tons of fun holiday festivities are happening! I especially love November in the classroom. There are just so many fun things to teach and creative ways to teach our standards with the help of the Pilgrims and Native Americans!
We started by reading one of my favorite books {I tried to find it on Amazon and I think it's not in print any longer, but it's worth getting a used copy!}.
It is such a sweet story of a little girl trying to figure out her mom's most thankful thing {I cry reading it every year!}. After we read the story, we charted what our most thankful things are, then made these turkeys to hold our writing. I've been making the turkeys since I was student teaching and I'm pretty sure the idea came from a Mailbox magazine.

Then, we started learning all about the Pilgrims and their voyage to a new land. We read this book, which has a TON of information!
Then, we did a little shared writing where we wrote what life on the Mayflower was like. We used our shared writing to do independent writing that we attached to our Mayflowers.

Then, we talked about what one thing we would take with us on the Mayflower, and made a little suitcase {the writing is from Deanna Jump's Thanksgiving Unit}

We read further in the book to find out what daily life was like for the Pilgrims. My kids loved learning about Pilgrim children {they couldn't believe Pilgrim boys wore dresses until they were 6!}. We made a group graphic organizer, then the kids used it to help them with their independent writing about Pilgrims.

We also read The Littlest Pilgrim {another great story} and talked character traits. The kids came up with words that described Mini, but they had to give me evidence from the story to support their adjective. They did great! We also made a super easy Mini craft {thanks to Cara Carroll!}

To round out our week, we made butter! I first showed the kids the whipping cream and asked them to predict what would happen if we put it in a jar and shook it.
Then, we started shaking. I let my kids take turn shaking the jar while we counted to 20. They were amazed when it made butter!

Of course, we had to have a taste test! I just gave everyone a half of a piece of bread with butter spread on it. We tasted, then graphed whether we liked it or not. For this graph, I let the kids tell me what they noticed about the data instead of telling them what I wanted to made for great math conversation!

For our centers, I'm using most out of this pack I made last year. I'm frantically working on an additional ELA pack, but it is slow going!

And just for fun, we've been reading in a teepee {and yes I know the Native Americans at the first Thanksgiving did not live in them, but it's for sheer fun!}. The kids love it every year!! My granddad made the base from bamboo 11 years ago when I started teaching, then I let my first class decorate 2 sheets to wrap around it.
 I hope to be back this week to show you the math we've been doing with our Thanksgiving unit...the kids have loved it!

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