Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers!
This blog isn’t really about being thankful… unless you are thankful for a few ideas that you can use this week to teach about Thanksgiving. Are you tired of the same old worksheets that you use year after year? Are you looking for something different? Here I want to offer some (hopefully) fresh ideas that you can consider using in your classroom. Also, please share any ideas that you love to use in the comment section below. So, let’s freshen up our Thanksgiving activity repertoire.
A few ideas…
Try a recipe swap
Start by talking about the delicious meal you are planning to have on the table for Thanksgiving. Describe one of the simpler recipes from your meal, and as you do, write it down on the board in recipe format. Turkey is simple, eh? Ask students to describe their favourite recipe for Thanksgiving or another holiday. As they talk, write their name and the name of their recipe on the board. Then ask them to write out their recipe on an index card, modeling your example on the board. Once they are finished, they can talk about their recipe in pairs or small groups. Perhaps students would like to swap recipes and then report back about how the recipe turned out for them.
Alternative to recipe swap
Have students write the recipe on a single sheet of paper and then create a class recipe book. The students could include a sentence or paragraph on the bottom of the page about why this recipe is special to them.
Another possible twist
If your class has access to computers or laptops, you can have them go to Eat Right Ontario and research information about how to safely handle and cook turkey. You could divide up the information about turkey safety among students and they could provide instructions or report back to the class their section of the reading. There are also some recipes for leftovers. Talk about leftovers. Do you like leftovers? What is your favourite way to eat leftovers? Then they can choose one of the turkey leftover recipes and copy it down on an index card. They can then share with the class or small group why they want to try that recipe.
Thankful for Quizlet?
If you use Quizlet, this is a good opportunity to introduce Quizlet Live. Create your vocabulary set with words and pictures. Put students in groups, make sure they each have access to Quizlet – Get them into a friendly competition on Quizlet Live. Remember – there’s an App for that! See John Allen’s previous blog, Add fun to your vocabulary lessons with Quizlet Live.
Harvest, horns, and leaves – ideas for literacy or low-level classes
Teach about the harvest and the Cornucopia – the horn of plenty – a major symbol of Thanksgiving. Bring in several vegetables from the fall harvest. Introduce them by name, write the names on the board, have students copy the names in their notebook. Show them pictures of a cornucopia. On poster boards have students draw the horn and then cut out fall vegetables and fruits from flyers and magazines. Students could also use the picture dictionary to identify and label the produce.
Finally, enjoy the beautiful autumn leaves. How about sharing the tradition of picking up beautiful fall maple leaves and pressing them between wax paper with an iron to preserve them. Students can use them as decorations around the home for the fall. Share the idea of pressing a beautiful leaf inside a favourite book. Then every time you open the book and see it, you can think of something you are thankful for.
Now it’s your turn….
Please post your ideas below.
For your reference:
The Canadian Encyclopedia is a good place to get started: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/thanksgiving-day/
The Eat Right Ontario web site has some great info about turkey safety and some recipes. Here’s the link: http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/searchResults.aspx?searchTerm=turkey&searchMode=allwords
The link below is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English:
Here’s a link to the ESL Library lesson: http://tomboulian.wikispaces.com/file/view/Thanksgiving-I.pdf
Here’s an introductory on Canadian Thanksgiving with links to other sites: http://www.eslmadeeasy.ca/2014/10/october-topic-thanksgiving.html