Milly and the Macy's Parade Teaching Guide
Use these quick learning activities and thought-provoking printables to enhance the experience of reading Milly and the Macy's Parade with your class.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
About this book
Milly and the Macy's Parade is set in the 1920s and tells the story of the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade through the eyes of a young girl. This fun and heartwarming holiday tale introduces readers to the spunky, young Polish immigrant, Milly, and follows her as she plans a way to incorporate the various traditions of the many immigrants working at Macy's, including her father, into the holiday festivities. This book not only teaches children perseverance and positivity, but also gives them an example of the way in which America is a melting pot of many different cultures.
This book is historical fiction and explores themes including:
- New York City landmarks and history
- Feeling homesick
- Holiday traditions
- Kids' empowerment
Use this guide to get information on all the book and author materials and to find the best activities for your students.
Before You Read
Students get warmed up for reading by exploring vocabulary and themes featured in the book.
This quiz presents words from the book in context with a choice of three definitions. The words are:
Access the answer key here.
A Marvelous Idea (PDF)
Students are asked to think of an idea they've had for an invention, a new way of doing things, or a big, new event. They complete three sentences:
- My marvelous idea is...
- Here's how it would work...
- It's a marvelous idea because...
While You Read
By completing a graphic organizer as they read, students collect information they'll need to make an illustrated book report.
Story Map (PDF)
With this graphic organizer, students record
- The title and author of the book
- The setting
- The main characters and supporting characters
- The main problem and solution from the story
Suggestion: Students may type directly into the fields and then print out the Story Map or print the map out first and then write down their answers.
Here's an example of a completed story map (PDF).
After You Read
Feeling Homesick (PDF)
Students are asked to write two sentences or more describing a time when they felt homesick and what they did to feel better.
Holiday Traditions (PDF)
Students are asked to write one sentence or more describing a special holiday tradition that they enjoy.
Read & Reflect
Simile Sheet (PDF)
In the story, Milly says Macy's department store "was like a giant present waiting to be unwrapped!" Use this charming simile as a jumping off point to explore the figure of speech. On this worksheet, students will draw a line connecting five simile beginnings to their appropriate endings.
How Would You Feel? (PDF)
Students are asked to put themselves in Milly's shoes and write one sentence or more answering how they would feel walking into Mr. Macy's office.
Mr. Macy's Reaction (PDF)
Students are asked to compare and contrast how Mr. Macy and Mr. Snidely react to hearing Milly's idea.
Milly's Marvelous Idea (PDF)
Students use their imaginations and their senses to transport themselves back in time to the very first Macy's Parade. They complete six sentences:
- At the parade, I look around and see...
- I listen and hear...
- If the parade had a taste, it would taste like...
- I breathe in through my nose and smell...
- I reach out my hand and touch...
- Being at the parade makes me feel...
Illustrated Book Report
Students can use the book report maker to create and print their illustrated book reports. They can test their reading comprehension with an eight-question quiz.
In each book report:
- Students create a cover page with illustrations and photos.
- Students complete a text page with the information from the Story Map (PDF) plus a one-sentence summary of the story.
- Students tell their favorite character and their favorite part of the story, and say whether they would recommend the book to a friend and why.
Reading Comprehension Quiz
This quiz tests students' reading comprehension on
- Book facts like the story setting and why Milly understands what it's like to feel homesick.
- Interpretative information like what Milly means when she says, "Macy's was magic" and why the parade was a success.
Access the answer key here.
About the Author
Born in Savannah, Georgia, Shana Corey grew up reading and loving books that told tales from the "olden days." Now, a children's book author and editor, Corey has won several awards, including Publishers Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2000 and Booklist Editors' Choice for 2000, for her picture books inspired by real historical events. By showing children ordinary characters that impact the world, Corey hopes to give them the confidence and courage to change the world too.