With Halloween on the horizon, that means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This trio of lessons, "Comprehension, Writing and Thinking- A Thanksgiving Cornucopia of Activities," will keep middle and high school students engaged and practicing their comprehension, writing and higher level thinking skills as they await their much anticipated vacation.
"Activity 1: A Thanksgiving Celebration" has students planning a dinner party using the characters, plot, setting, etc. from the story that they are currently studying. To complete this project, they will create an invitation, choose the guest list and explain their choices, design the seating arrangement, prepare a menu, select any entertainment, think of topics of conversation and write one dialogue between two of the characters. Some research of the time period in the story will be necessary.
"Activity 2: What’s Hot? What’s Not? A Thanksgiving Comparison" has students creating two lists- one showing what a character is thankful for and another that reveals what is unrewarding in his/her life. Students will also have to identify two of the negative aspects that the character wishes to turn into positives and explain their reasoning for their selections.
"Activity 3: Who Wins the Wishbone? A Thanksgiving Competition" requires students to write a short piece developing who they feel should reach his/her goal- the Protagonist or Antagonist, incorporating details from the story to defend their choice..
Activity 1 will require a few days of class time and homework to complete, but each of the other two can be finished in 40-50 minutes, depending on the students skills and abilities. For Activities 2 and 3, students also use details from the text that they are currently studying to show their understanding.
With these three activities, your students will not only join you at the Learning Table, but will be asking for, "More brain food, please."