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.
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.
Being a Thankful Publisher
Once finished with brainstorming, have some sheets of paper ready with the following printed at the top: “I am thankful for ________ because _____________. To tie in with bilingual learners, you may also want to add in the same sentence in the other language spoken at home along the bottom. There should be plenty of space under this for drawings, photos, or items cut out from magazines. Allow the child to help make this part more personal.
Discuss how they want to make a front cover. Talk about the author line and what image they would like to be the first item readers see. Ask questions to make conversation about their thoughts on this. Next, assist them to make a dedication page to someone special in their life. Share some examples from books that you have read. Finally, add a back page and put the book together. If you have resources you can laminate the covers or use clips to make it a flip book.
Finish with a Picture Book Walk
When the book is finished, it is time to add other skill sets to the mix. Have the child practice a book walk with you. This time, they will take on the role that you modeled to them the first time you tried this activity. Remind them to go step by step through the process and ask you questions. When finished, have them take the book home. Suggest to them to try a picture book walk at home when they present their Book of Thanks to their family. Little cue cards for older children to practice this strategy at home would be great language practice as well. This is a great strategy that they can bring home to share with other members.