Harvesting Knowledge: Integrating Thanksgiving Activities into the ELA Curriculum
Incorporating Thanksgiving Activities into English Language Arts (ELA) standards for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders offers a multitude of educational and cultural benefits for students. Consider these 6 reasons:
- Cultural Awareness and Understanding: Thanksgiving is a significant part of American culture and history. Including related activities in ELA standards can help students understand the historical, cultural, and social significance of this holiday.
- Textual Analysis and Comprehension: Thanksgiving-themed text, whether historical documents, stories, poems, or articles, provide ample opportunities for students to practice reading, comprehending, and analyzing various types of texts.
- Writing Opportunities: Thanksgiving-themed activities can prompt students to engage in various writing activities.
- Critical Thinking and Discussion: Lessons centered around this holiday can foster critical thinking skills by encouraging students to analyze different perspectives, evaluate historical events, and engage in discussions about the cultural and social implications of the holiday.
- Vocabulary and Language Development: Thanksgiving-themed content provides opportunities to introduce and explore relevant vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and language structures related to the holiday.
- Cross-Curricular Connections: Thanksgiving Activities can also be integrated with other subjects, such as social studies, history, art, and even math. This integration allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the holiday across multiple disciplines.
The Thanksgiving Activities below will meet ALL of the above mentioned reasons for incorporating Thanksgiving into your ELA curriculum. Explore them below!
Thanksgiving activity #1
Thanksgiving ELA Escape Room Activity, Thanksgiving Around the World for Grades 3-5 “The Case of Pardoning Tilda, The Turkey,” will take students on a secret mission around the classroom as they close read a Thanksgiving Around the World passage and complete 5 challenges that has them deciphering the 5-digit code to unlock Tilda, the turkey from her cage. Throughout the activity, students will work collaboratively with a partner or group to solve 4 ELA related challenges and one challenge of coded math problems, as each activity will unlock 1 digit to the 5-digit code. Critical thinking is a key component in this escape room activity. This is also a terrific cross-curricula connection as it integrates social studies into several reading and vocabulary standards. Close reading is a key component in this engaging resource!!
Thanksgiving Activity #2
This Thanksgiving Persuasive Writing Activity & Turkey Craft for 3rd, 4th & 5th Graders is a NO PREP, print & go Thanksgiving Persuasive Writing Activity titled, Pardon My Turkey, Please! Students will write a persuasive letter to the president convincing him/her to pardon their turkey this Thanksgiving (with Thanksgiving Stationery). Included is a Thanksgiving turkey craft that allows students to design and decorate their own turkey, along with naming it, making their writing far more personal! This is a great way to integrate writing into a Thanksgiving themed activity!
Thanksgiving Activities #3 Bundle
The Thanksgiving Activities in this bundle include both Thanksgiving Persuasive Writing and Thanksgiving Escape Room Activities (listed above) and will engage your students while still focusing on ELA standards during this holiday season. Think of the cultural awareness and understanding students will gain as Thanksgiving is a significant part of not only American culture and history but in other parts of the world. They may not all celebrate this special event in the same way, but the theme of gratitude and harvesting is woven throughout many parts of the world!
Thanksgiving activities # 4 PBL
This Project Based Learning Unit incorporates Thanksgiving Reading, Writing and Math Activities in which students explore real world problem solving.
Students are asked to make it their mission to help the “New Hope Homeless Shelter” plan and prepare for its Thanksgiving feast. The main goal is to determine how much money is needed for the necessary Thanksgiving food items and then reach out to a “local” business in the form of a persuasive letter, asking for monetary donations to make the feast a success. This unit always sparks many discussions about the homeless population and how we, as responsible citizens, can make a difference for those less fortunate during this special time of gratitude and celebration!!
Time is precious when you are in the classrooms trying to meet all of the demands put upon you! When incorporating ELA standards into Thanksgiving Activities, you still are meeting those demand, and more importantly, your students will be far more engaged!!
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