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With Halloween now a memory, that means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This compilation of activities, "Literary Analysis & Writing Activities: A November Cornucopia," 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. This recently revised product has been doubled in size to SIX activities. Although the first 4 activities have a Thanksgiving Theme, they are easily adaptable to any time of the year with a few teacher clarifications.
"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 4: All Aboard! A Thanksgiving Train Trip. One of the characters from the story has a discussion with a character from another book studies in class-Student's choose the people. They are stranded in a blizzard between stations and the student-who takes the role as Narrator- reveals the characters' conversation.
Activity 5: NaNoWriMo-For the National November Writers Month for Young Writers, check out https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/pages/getting-started-educators to set up a virtual classroom. Review Student Notes p.16 to motivate students to try this challenge.
Activity 6: Option 1- Veteran’s Day Book Activity: Here is the link to a FREE product in my Teachers pay Teachers store under Freebies that is perfect for a Veteran’s Day Project:
Since November is such a short month, and it has already started, for the novel activity, I suggest students choose a book to start reading before Veteran’s Day, with the due date for the project right before the winter break. If your school offers a book related to war, use it. If not, the book list in the FREE product offers Teachers Notes for 15 books representing the Civil War through the Gulf War, and project requirements.
•Option 2: For a shorter project, students can write a letter to an active-duty military service member. See the link for directions and where to find addresses.
Activity 1, 2, 3, and 4 will require class and homework time to complete. Each one should be started in class, but can be finished as homework. In these activities, students use details from the text that they are currently studying to show their understanding. Activities 5 and 6 may also use class and homework time. They do not stem from class texts under study.
With these six activities, your students will not only join you at the Learning Table, but will be asking for, "More brain food, please."
Enjoy a Teach It Now Day Every Day