'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving Lesson Plan
Students perform selections from the book by Dav Pilkey.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
Students enjoy performing sections of the humorous story 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, using eye contact, volume, and clear enunciation.
- Rehearse and perform stories, plays, and poems for an audience.
- Use eye contact, volume, and clear enunciation appropriate to the selection.
- 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
- Optional: Video recording equipment, if you want to videotape the performance
- Optional: Props, such as large jackets and turkey costumes, or materials to make props in class (see the Paper Plate Turkey Hat Craft and the Handprint Turkey Hat Craft for turkey costume ideas)
Set Up and Prepare
- According to the number of students in your class, think about the roles each will play. Possible roles are: Child #1, Child #2, Child #3, Child #4, Child #5, Child #6, Child #7, Child #8, Bus Driver, Farmer Mack Nuggett, Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, Groucho, the teacher, and families eating dinner. You could even have some students play the parts of the bus: for example, the headlights.
- Decide if you want to do the narration, or have students memorize parts of the book.
Step 1: Tell your class that they will be taking on roles from 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, to perform as retellings.
Step 2: Together with the class, read through the book, noting students' favorite poems and plays.
Step 3: Assign parts to each student.
Step 4: Prepare and rehearse, spending at least twenty minutes each class period for a few days. If you are having students memorize selections from the book instead of you narrating, allow adequate time for them to learn the parts. Review with students how to appropriately use eye contact, clearly enunciate, and modify their volume depending on their roles.
Step 5: Have students perform their retellings.
Supporting All Learners
Be aware that some students may find the idea of performing in front of peers scary and daunting. Try to be sensitive to that fact.
Video tape the performance to share with other classes or email home to families.
Explain that the class will be taking on roles from the story, to perform as a retelling. Practice acting out the different parts of the story before performing.