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Danzeteach Danzeteach is offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 347

Danzeteach
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 347
I do a whole unit on Thanksgiving
Old 11-03-2007, 07:28 AM
 

I do a unit on Thanksgiving. There are tons of books and websites out there. I begin the unit by making a Pilgrim journal for each student. One website has a list of the Pilgrim names. I put pilgrim women and men names in a hat and have students draw a name. They then make a nametag with that Pilgrim name and that is what I call them by when we are doing the unit. They love this! Each day, we read a book about Pilgrims and Native Americans. In guided reading, I use chapter books like the Magic Tree House, Sailing on the Mayflower, etc. In whole group, I use picture books about Thanksgiving. There are some great resource books out there that have tons of project ideas. I usually spend one week on Pilgrims and one on Native Americans. In the Native American part of the unit, we make totem poles, dream catchers, etc. In the Pilgrim part, we do a simulation of the Mayflower. We make an outline of the mayflower on the flower. Students are always surprised what tight spaces the Pilgrims had to sleep and live in. Then I play wave music, turn out the lights and have a star maker that makes stars on the ceiling. We pretend like the boat is moving by rocking back and forth. Then we have a sample of food from the past (salted beef-beef jerky, crackers-hard tack, etc.) We also play pilgrim games and make cornhusk dolls.

For a culmination for the unit, my third graders do a Thanksgiving play for the school, family, and friends. Afterwards, the parents join us for a Thanksgiving feast in the cafeteria. Everyone brings a potluck dish and it is absolutely wonderful to see all of the third grade families together. (I teach at a small country school where there is one class per grade and I have 25 students.) It has become a third grade tradition now! Anyway, hope some of these ideas help. I have a list of websites at school if you are interested. I also have a Thanksgiving webquest. As you can tell, it is one of my favorite units!

Last edited by Danzeteach; 11-03-2007 at 07:28 AM.. Reason: typo
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