Here are some ideas that I have created or  "tweaked" from the ideas others have shared.  There are lots of things out there to do in correspondence to Thanksgiving.

Writing a Pilgrims and Jamestown Readers Theater

 

Family Feast

 

Other Thanksgiving  Readers Theaters

 

Scarecrow Glyph

 

Persuasive Turkey Writing

 

 Thanksgiving Books

Writing a Pilgrims and Jamestown Readers Theater

 

Part of the curriculum that we teach in fourth grade is the Pilgrims and the Jamestown settlers.  After this concept has been introduce and students have had some exposure to this time in history, we write a readers theater.

 

First thing I do is look at the standards at what students should know about these settlers.  Then as a whole class we brainstorm what we would like to learn about AND teach other people about.  Last year we brainstormed the trip on the Mayflower, Life in Plymouth, Mayflower Compact and so on.  Since I team teach, one class writes readers theaters about Pilgrims and the other class writes about Jamestown. 

 

I then break the class into small groups of four and five.  I break the groups up and create heterogeneous ability groups  This way students can support each other.  Then students discuss what topic they would like to write about.  I draw names and then the groups choose what topic they would like to write about.  For the first two days, students simply read about their  topic and take notes and discuss what they have learned.  Then on the third day, students choose one person to be the scribe.  I model how to write a reader theater.  By this time in the year, we have already performed two- three scripts so they are familiar with the format.  I give the students about two days to write the script (45 minutes each session).  While they are collaborating, I walk around and help students go in the right direction and help resolve any issues.

 

 I take the scripts home and type up their readers theater.  I do this for a few reasons.  I can do some small editing/ revisions if the scripts don't make sense.  Also, it is easy to make copies and for students to read.

 

On the fifth day students practice and rehearse.  This includes the order we perform and who introduces each play and how students introduce themselves.  Then the next day is show time at the family feast.

 

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Family Feast

 

 

My team teaching partner and I send a note home a few weeks before Thanksgiving.  We invite parents to send in a traditional or favorite family recipe to our Thanksgiving Feast.   We also ask them to attend to watch their children perform readers theaters they have written about the Pilgrims and Jamestown.

 

Click here to see a copy of the letter we send home.

 

This has become somewhat of a tradition that students look forward to in our class. Every year I worry that there will not be enough food or parents and every year I am shocked.  Now keep in mind we do this with both homerooms and their families together in the same classroom and celebrate together.  It is standing room only, crazy full. Parent and the kids love it. 

 

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Other Thanksgiving  Readers Theaters

 

 Thanksgiving Readers Theater from Education World

 

 ABC's for the First Thanksgiving Readers Theater by Marci McGowan (suitable for lower grades)

 

  Turkey Trotten Readers Theater

 

Thanksgiving at the Tappletons (without the religious overtones)

 

Turk and Runt

 

 

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Scarecrow Glyph

 

I am just entering the world of teaching math and lower grades (since I taught fourth grade language arts for so long!).  I found this scarecrow glyph  and decided to "pretty it up " for my second graders.  Click here to see my printable version.  They will create the glyph as part of one of their math stations.  After everyone has created their glyph and we have hung them in the hall, I will send students out to read the glyphs using this sheet.  As soon as I create my sample (this week),  I will post it!

 

 

 

Persuasive Turkey Writing

 

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All graphics are from