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EdWorld Roundup: Thanksgiving in the Classroom

Community Service Projects

What better way to show thanks to your community than orchestrating a school-wide effort to give back! Education World has several simple ideas on how your class can make some worthwhile efforts for others.

Thanksgiving Placemats

Use this resource to have your students make colorful placemats with a Thanksgiving theme to brighten up the holiday for your local shelter, food bank, or nursing home. 

Teach the ‘Real’ Story Behind Thanksgiving

Art projects and the like are fun and provide students with some much needed relief after months of hard work, but make sure to add educational value to the holiday as well by teaching the ‘real’ story behind the day.

This elaborate resource looks at several experts who have researched how to dispel stereotypes about the history behind Thanksgiving as well as how to honor Native Americans with factual accuracy.

It also provides educators with positive strategies teachers can use when teaching the holiday’s history, such how to prepare units on Native Americans and how to best decorate the classroom. Check that resource out here

Learning About the Turkeys Behind Turkey Day

Education World suggests some light reading for the classroom for kids who are hungry for learning about the holiday’s traditional dish—the turkey.

Learn about Jim Arnosky’s All About Turkeys here. 

A Language Lesson in Describing Thanksgiving Treats

Since much of Thanksgiving revolves around enjoying a big meal, one educator told Education World about a food-oriented lesson plan she uses for helping her students combine language learning and preparation for the big feast.

Middle school teacher Paulette Romano has her students create restaurant and Thanksgiving menus to focus on the role “sensory words, alliteration, and adjectives play in persuasive writing.”

"Because I consider persuasive writing to be tougher for students to express in a straight written piece, I started thinking about real-life applications of persuasion in our society [that would make the lesson more meaningful]," Romano said to Education World.

Her students not only learn from the project, but they enjoy it as well.

See the full lesson plan here.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Just like the dinner table on Thanksgiving, Education World has a resource that provides teachers with everything they need for teaching the holiday but the kitchen sink. This resource provides teachers with a Thanksgiving quiz, scavenger hunt, language and math activity for the classes leading up to the special day.

See here.

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor