Exciting lesson ideas, classroom strategies, book lists, videos, and reproducibles in a daily blog by teachers

Alycia

I live in New York

I teach 3rd grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach 6th grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Beth

I live in Michigan

I teach 3rd grade

I am an enthusiastic teacher and techie, and a mom of three boys

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach 2nd grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

John

I live in New York

I teach writing for grades 5-8

I am a sharpener of minds who keeps students' thinking on point

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach 2nd and 3rd grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Meghan

I live in Alabama

I teach 3rd grade

I am an obsessive personality with a creative flair

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach 4th grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Shari

I live in Idaho

I teach kindergarten

I am a wife, mom, and home chef who loves cooking up ways to make learning fun in school

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5 technology

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Amanda

I live in Illinois

I teach 1st and 2nd grades

I am a jewelry-making, pet-loving, runner, crafter, and bilingual teacher

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach kindergerten

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Alycia

I live in New York

I teach 3rd grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach 6th grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Beth

I live in Michigan

I teach 3rd grade

I am an enthusiastic teacher and techie, and a mom of three boys

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach 2nd grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

John

I live in New York

I teach writing for grades 5-8

I am a sharpener of minds who keeps students' thinking on point

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach 2nd and 3rd grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Meghan

I live in Alabama

I teach 3rd grade

I am an obsessive personality with a creative flair

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach 4th grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Shari

I live in Idaho

I teach kindergarten

I am a wife, mom, and home chef who loves cooking up ways to make learning fun in school

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5 technology

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Amanda

I live in Illinois

I teach 1st and 2nd grades

I am a jewelry-making, pet-loving, runner, crafter, and bilingual teacher

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach kindergerten

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Plentiful Thanksgiving Resources

By Shari Edwards on November 14, 2012
  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5

Last week, we finished our fall research bulletin board that we titled “How Animals Prepare for Winter.” My students enjoyed using our autumn and animal books to find information. They created an autumn scene and wrote the information they learned on colorful leaves. November is a busy month in the classroom with Election Day, Veterans Day, and now, Thanksgiving.

If you're anything like me, you have asked yourself, in a voice edged with surprise or panic, "Can Thanksgiving really be so soon!?" It's true . . . but, never fear, Scholastic is here!

 

 

For the next week, my class will focus on the treasured American holiday Thanksgiving. It won’t be difficult to find activities. Scholastic has so many resources to offer that I could make my plans totally from their website and a few read-alouds. I can’t wait to dig in and reap the harvest!

students presenting part of a pilgrim letter to the class

Letters From 1620s Children

Last week, we began receiving email letters from a pilgrim girl and a Wampanoag boy because I had signed up to receive them on Scholastic.com earlier in the year. They are great for building anticipation for the unit, and my students enjoy reading them. Each letter contains good information to help my students build background knowledge on life in the 1600s on a merchant ship and in the Americas. I pull vocabulary from the letters for my students to learn. We first attempt to figure out the meanings for ourselves, using context clues and our own schema, as we practice our comprehension skills. If we need help, there is a great vocabulary list to refer to on the website.

I chose a jigsaw activity to help my 2nd graders investigate the first letter. I divided it into five parts, made enough copies for each student to have a section, and handed each student one section. My students then grouped themselves by the part they were given. They read it together, underlined important words, and drew a picture on the back to represent the main idea of their section of the letter. When they were finished, I called them to the carpet and each group read their part of the letter to the class after talking about the main idea of their section. I was pleased that most groups could talk about main idea, saying things like, "Our section told about the food they ate" or "Ours was about what the Mayflower was like."

Click on the image below to download the first letter, divided into sections for a jigsaw activity.

picture of letter

I also plan to have students examine the points of view that are represented by these two children and use our new learning to write statements from another person’s point of view.

Didn’t sign up? You can still find these historically based letters right on the Scholastic website!

Video and Multimedia

I paired the jigsaw letter activity with an exploration of the Mayflower on Scholastic.com. Students clicked on different parts of the ship and listened to crew members describe the area and how it was used as they “toured” the Mayflower. The newest virtual field trip is all about the Mayflower. They take you on a tour of the Mayflower II, an authentic, working replica of the actual ship.

There are four 20–30 minute virtual field trip videos, well put together and very informative. Actors from Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II are featured, in character and full costume, to answer questions that children have asked. I will be sharing one of these per day with my class this week.

Bountiful Resources

This post is just a sample of what is available. If you haven't checked out  Scholastic's First Thanksgiving, do it now! (You can also access this page by clicking on the Thanksgiving artwork that appears at the very top of every page on the site.) You will find just what you need, and everyone will think you've been planning for Thanksgiving for months!

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