Friday, November 13, 2009

Bonus classes!

Due to the transition to our new schedule, we saw some students for extra library classes early this week.  For their bonus lessons, we prepared some Thanksgiving stories and activities.

Guiding Question: Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?  What other harvest celebrations exist around the world?

We learned the poem "Two Fat Turkeys" and acted it out and read the following stories:

 PreK and K

This is the Turkey, by Abby Levine
This is a fun rhyming story about one family's Thanksgiving celebration. It mentions all of the usual foods and traditions, but there's a twist toward the end.  Guess what happens to the beautiful turkey that Mom's been cooking all day?

Grade 1

Thanksgiving Day, by Gail Gibbons
With Gail Gibbons' signature style, this bright picture book tells the highlights of the story of the first Thanksgiving. We learn about why the pilgrims and Native Americans became friends, how they helped each other, and what traditions began that year, 1621.

Grade 2

The First Thanksgiving, by Garnet Jackson
This early reader is a perfect story for explaining the story of Thanksgiving.  There's the right amount of detail - not too much - for grade two students.  Cartoon-style drawings emphasize the festive and happy mood of the presentation of the story of the pilgrims and the Native Americans and their first feast together.

In Grade Three, we talked about giving thanks for the simple things in our lives and learned the song "Tis the Gift to be Simple", a traditional Shaker song from the mid 1800's.

Grade 3

The Story of Thanksgiving, by Robert Merrill Bartlett

This tells the story of the first Thanksgiving in more detail, so it's good for older children.  It begins with brief descriptions of harvest festivals in ancient Greece, Rome, and Israel, and the traditions of European farmers.  The story of Thanksgiving in the US tells of the hardship of the pilgrims and Puritans, their progress as settlers, their friendship with Native Americans, and the story of how Thanksgiving became an official holiday.  Beautiful oil paintings accompany the text.

Grades 4 & 5 came for a new library orientation and book check-out.