While Thanksgiving is not in my third grade curriculum, I still teach it! I don't want my kiddos going through life like I did believing that the First Thanksgiving was about the Pilgrims and Indians being thankful and eating turkey and pumpkin pie. In fact, they never even ate turkey or pumpkin pie!
Historical research indicates that the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Tribe celebrated with a 3 day feast. They ate things like venison , squash, and onions. Potatoes, weren't even brought over from Ireland yet, so no mashed potatoes and gravy! I want my kiddos to know the truth and not be crushed as adults when they learned they were lied to as children! (ok, it's not that dramatic)
To keep my little kiddos informed, I created this Interactive Whiteboard Lesson with a companion non-fiction booklet.
Even if you don't grab this awesome resource, you should still check out the Scholastic website here.
It has AMAZING interactive features that take students from the voyage on the Mayflower, all the way past the First Thanksgiving! Scholastic has done such a fantastic job with this site!
During writing time, we read 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving. It's a cute little book that is modeled after 'Twas the Night Before Christmas but takes a group of students to the farm of Farmer Mack Nuggett. They meet a group of turkey who are going to be cooked for Thanksgiving and they end up sneaking the turkeys onto the school bus and taking them home to save them.
You can watch the book read aloud here.
Next, I have my students pretend that they are a turkey and Farmer Mack Nuggett found them and wants to eat them for Thanksgiving. They have to write him a letter and persuade him NOT to eat them. I have included a lot of information and ideas for the lesson as well as an anchor chart.
Students have a graphic organizer and a fun craft to create a turkey. There are multiple rubrics to choose from for grading and a ribbon you can award students who do not get eaten!! My kiddos LOVE this!
Grab this writing resource here.
My kiddos also love games! I am sure yours do as well! On the last day before Thanksgiving, I usually allot about a little more than an hour and we do center rotations.
I divide my students into six different groups and place the six Math and Literacy Centers around the room. I give students about 10 minutes for each center and then we rotate to the next station. Kiddos are having a blast playing "games" and don't even realize they are still learning!
The engaging stations even have answer keys! You can take the centers as grades or you can have your students check their work as they go!
Grab the Math and Literacy Centers here.
Thanks for sticking around! I created these 12 different writing papers just for you!
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! May there be an abundance of blessings over you and your family!