Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Photo Peach: Thanksgiving

         I believe that when students engage in hands-on activities they are better able to recall what they have been taught.  One of the highlights of our Thanksgiving lessons was making the fun arts and crafts.  The activities that I used were not my original idea.  Instead,  I found them on Pinterest and pinned them to my Thanksgiving board.  My goal with each project was to reinforce the events of the first thanksgiving and the importance of being thankful.  Three activities that I think the children enjoyed the most were making Tom Turkey disguised as Pigeon, the First Thanksgiving Fact Pumpkin, and the Thankful Pie.  The students seemed to enjoy making them and they especially liked that they were able to be creative. 

     To showcase our activities I made a Photo Peach video of the students' work.  Click here to view our video.
First Thanksgiving Fact Pumpkin
Tom Turkey
Thankful Pie

Voicethread: Five Kernels of Corn

    The Thanksgiving survey was very helpful in informing me of what my students knew about Thanksgiving.  I learned that many of them felt that Thanksgiving was mainly about eating turkey and other delicious foods.  I wanted to put more emphasis on being thankful and what happened with the Native Americans and Pilgrims long ago. 

      So, I selected and realistic fiction story entitled "Mary's First Thanksgiving" which is about a young girl and her family.  They had just moved to America and were very poor.  Mary didn't feel that she had anything to be thankful for until her father shared the first Thanksgiving story and the legend of the five kernels of corn.

     Afterwards I had my students write about five things that the were most important and why.  Each student recorded their responses found in our voice thread entitled Five Kernels of Corn.  The students enjoyed this activity and were very excited about sharing it with other classes.  We hope to receive some comments.

Mosaic Picture of Adjective Acrostic Poems

    Last week my students learned about adjectives. They learned that an adjective is a word that describes or modifies a noun.  I thought it would be more meaningful to the students if they could use adjectives to describe themselves.  So I taught them how to use their names to create an acrostic poem.  After they made their poems with adjectives that described themselves then the students chose either pattern a heart, diamond or oval shape pattern to color and frame their poem. 
   The mosaic image is a display of all of my students acrostic poems which turned out beautifully 

Tagxedo for Thanksgiving

     One of the activities that I chose to do with my class for Thanksgiving was a Tagxedo image.  The children thought of things that they were thankful for and listed them
     Each word was written as a slice on their "Thankful pie"Then we made the Tagxedo image using all of the words from all of the pies.  It turned out magnificently and the children enjoyed creating it.  We chose a hand image because it reminded us of how helpful the Native Americans were towards the Pilgrims as well as the importance of working together to be successful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pinterest Board: Thanksgiving Ideas

      Pinterest has become one of my favorite resources for finding new and creative, classroom ideas.  There seems to be an endless array of activities available through Pinterest.  For the Thanksgiving season I created my own Thanksgiving board which include several activities that I used with my students.  In creating my board, I tried to include activities that were cross-curriculum to ensure a consistent flow of educational fun.  As anticipated, each activity provided learning experiences that were hands-on and memorable.  I am sure that I will continue to develop my Thanksgiving board by adding more ideas.  Click here or the picture to check out my Thanksgiving board.  I hope that you will find the ideas as helpful and fun as I did.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pinterest Board: Thanksgiving Day Persuasive Writing

     My students have become big fans of the author Mo Willems' exuberant character, Pigeon. They enjoy reading Willems' series of stories that center around Pigeon and his persistence in convincing the reader to let him drive the bus or have a puppy. So, for Thanksgiving I read "Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog".  In this story Pigeon finds a hot dog and he can't wait to devour it but he becomes pestered by a little duck who, in turn, wants a little of the hot dog himself. It is so adorable the way Pigeon tries to resist sharing the hot dog only to give in in the end.
      I used this story as a spring board for a persuasive writing in which Tom Turkey disguises himself as Pigeon and tries to convince others to eat hot dogs instead of turkey for Thanksgiving.  The students thought of several reasons why a hot dog would be a better choice for Thanksgiving dinner.  Then they made a replica of Pigeon but dressed it with sunglasses and a few turkey feathers.  They enjoyed making the character and they were proud to add their persuasive paragraphs.  This activity was an excellent way to motivate the students to write!  This idea can be found on my Thanksgiving Pinterest board.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Google Doc: Thanksgiving Survey

Below is a student survey about Thanksgiving.  Please share with me what you know about Thanksgiving and some of your favorite things about Thanksgiving.  I look forward to learning about you.