Sunday, November 24, 2013

Learning About Thanksgiving, Part 2 {Pilgrim Life and The First Thanksgiving}

Last week we spent a great deal of time learning about Pilgrim life and The First Thanksgiving using my Thanksgiving unit.  Like a lot of teachers, I like to integrate language arts skills with social studies, so we did a lot of reading (independent and whole group), fact gathering, listening with a purpose, recording, and so forth.

We started the week by reading this Scholastic mini book about Pilgrim life. After using a Reading A-Z book the week before, the students were beyond excited when I told them they got to keep this book!


After reading and discussing this text, we created an anchor chart of facts that we learned from the book (see the chart on the left pictured below).  The students used this information to complete a Venn Diagram comparing Pilgrim life to life today.  I helped them get started, and then they finished it up on their own.


The following day, we watched a Scholastic Video about pilgrim life (Pilgrim Village).  I stopped the video periodically and had the students write down a fact they had learned up until that point.  At the end of the video, the students shared the facts they wrote down and we made an anchor chart (see the chart on the right).


The students used both of these charts (plus older charts from the previous week) to complete this could/had/were organizer.  This always seems like such a simple task, but really it provides some challenge.  The students had to draw conclusions in order to fill in some of the categories (i.e. they knew the Pilgrims worked from morning until night and did most things by hand and from scratch. They concluded that this meant they were hard workers).


I love how this student remembered that the Pilgrims wore colorful clothing.



On Wednesday, we read another Scholastic mini book.  The photo below shows the resource book that I got the two mini books from. 


After reading the book, the students completed a circle map.


Then, they shared their ideas with their teaching buddy and added facts to their circle map as needed.  After that, we discussed the facts they had recorded. 

On Thursday we continued to learn about The First Thanksgiving.  I read The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving aloud to them and they used their listening skills (and mini whiteboards) to write down facts as I read.  In keeping with tradition, the students shared their facts and we created another whole group anchor chart.  We really worked on gathering facts this week!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Pilgrims-First-Thanksgiving-Mcgovern/dp/0590461885/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y


On Friday, the students used all of our anchor charts to complete this Truth or Lie? activity.  They LOVE this activity so much because they get a kick out of trying to trick their friends.  I always tell them to take a true fact and change it ever so slightly so that it isn't an obvious lie.



I usually include some some paragraph writing when I cover Thanksgiving, but we were finishing up our turkey writing and we also started preparing for our school play, which means, unfortunately, that some of our regular learning gets replaced with daily play practice.

This week we will wrap up our unit with a game of Thanksgiving Fact and Opinion Scoot and learning about turkeys (both activities are also included in my Thanksgiving unit). I can't wait to tackle these last few activities! 

Happy three day week, everyone!!
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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like lots of great learning about Thanksgiving. Trying to trick your classmates sounds like lots of fun. And so does the scoot game.

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