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Creating a Book of Thanks

Creating a Book of Thanks The true meaning of Thanksgiving is a tough, yet important topic to talk about. A lot of conversations can work around items discussed in the month of November. Writing and drawing books about the holiday allows children to be able to talk about their views. Once finished making this project, you can have them lead you on a book walk (see earlier post). This helps to foster creativity, model what was previously learned, and build confidence in sharing information. Thankful Brainstorming During a session or two, plan on making a Book of Thanks. This book would be great to start around Thanksgiving and use for the children to present to family members for a December holiday gifting. First up is talking about what being thankful means to them. Lead by example and share some items in your life. Then have the child brainstorm items on their mind. Remind them to think about life at home, school, and other places that they travel to. This can easily become a list of people, places, and things. Remind them that they can be thankful for things that they can do. Do they like dancing, singing, running, or other activities? For older children, this is a chance to discuss different parts of speech. Read More »

Language Activities with Turkey Feathers

Language Activities with Turkey Feathers As we continue into fall, we often need to spend some time assessing students. Are they reaching their goals, are changes needed in their accommodations, or perhaps they need more of a challenge. While more traditional means may be needed, start with something a little more hands on. Classrooms all around will be sporting turkey decorations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season. Why not embrace the turkey and use some of the features to build on language skills? Letter Sound Turkey Practice To begin this activity, you will need to have a general turkey body outline on a piece of paper for students to use. Look around online for clipart that you can implement for teaching purposes, or try drawing one on your own. This template can be used for many different variations of this activity. If the child you are working with is working on the “R” and “F” sound in words, prepare turkey feathers with appropriate pictures for those words. Mix in some that do not have the sound to check mastery of the skill set. Have the child cut out all of the feathers, or do this ahead of time. Then have them begin by saying the word and determining which turkey body the feather belongs to. For additional practice ask the child to put the word in a sentence as they glue the feature onto the turkey. Read More »

Focus on Thanksgiving Traditions and Songs

Focus on Thanksgiving Traditions and Songs When you think of Thanksgiving, you visualize family, food, turkey, and special memories. Children are very receptive to learning when it is focused around holidays and celebrations. It is also a great time to share some of your special holiday traditions with them. To tie in at home, as the children how they celebrate and see if there are any special dishes that they have during their Thanksgiving feast. Share a Favorite Thanksgiving Tale As mentioned in a previous post about using books walks, there are countless stories about Thanksgiving for all different age levels. The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing spins the classic familiar Christmas story with turkey day traditions. The focus of this story is on a family getting ready and then celebrating Thanksgiving with their relatives. Baking pies, parades, travel, setting tables, playing with family, and eating the meal are all incorporated. The predictable rhyming pattern will also allow children to jump in while reading. Compare how this is like your celebrations and ask if it is similar to theirs. Read More »

Time for a Picture Book Walk

Time for a Picture Book Walk Book Walks are a great idea to do with children when you are trying to build their confidence with speech. It allows them to share their thoughts on something where there are no wrong answers. Once you have selected a picture book, share the front cover of the book. Let them take some time to look at the illustration. Give them time to make inferences about what the story is about based on the front of the book. Next, guide them through the book one page at a time. Ask them to tell you in their words what the story is about. What do they think is happening based on the pictures? This actively engages them in the process and gives them some control of the conversation. If the child is comfortable with you, you may ask them questions. Ask them if they have ever done this at home, or do they have traditions that are like this. Think about ways to highlight their cultural identity and multilingual families. Once finished with your book walk, you can read the book. At the end, compare the book walk talk to what actually happened with the words from the author. Books will open up a great pathway for future sessions. You can make crafts, work on vocabulary, and use them as conversation starters. Picture book walks can also be used to model a task that will be done by the child in later sessions to promote use of their skills.   Read More »

Building a Bridge with Books

Building a Bridge with Books Books are powerful resources that we often forget to utilize with children during time together.     Picture books tell a story with words and also pictures. Though we often think that they are only for younger children, they are great tools to use with all ages. These days, there are books on almost any subject. The fall and Thanksgiving are perfect topics to use when trying some of the following activities with students. Selecting the Right Book These days, there are so many books about autumn and holidays that you could spend hours trying to pick out a book. A great place to start would be asking the child's primary teacher what topics they are covering and if they have any books or suggestions. There may be one that they would like the child to get a preview of to assist within the classroom setting. If they do not, look in the school library, or go to the public library in your area and check out the seasonal books. There will be books about leaves, football, animals hibernating, pumpkins, Pilgrims, and many on Thanksgiving. Preview the book to make sure it is age appropriate. Some of the Thanksgiving books can be a little too detail-oriented for a younger child, but may be perfect for older students. A few book ideas:

  • Countdown to Fall – Fran Hawk
  • What is Thanksgiving – Michelle Medlock Adams
  • From Seeds to Pumpkins – Wendy Pfeffer
  • There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves – Lucille Colandro
  • The Night Before Thanksgiving – Natasha Wing
  • Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks – Margaret Sutherland
  Read More »