Thanksgiving Activities: Close Reading, Writing Response, Craft and more

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20.89 MB   |   62 pages


Provide your students with a background on the Thanksgiving holiday while practicing guided close reading skills. It includes original non-fiction passages on the history of Thanksgiving, structured close reading practices, writing response activities, vocabulary booklet, craft, story cards, and more. The close reading exercises have students scouring for examples of key ideas, text structure, and author’s craft with more than enough reading and writing activities to fill the short Thanksgiving week.

This mini-unit is also perfect to have ready as emergency sub plans for those days when you are out unexpectedly. It contains at least three days worth of meaningful practices that are self explanatory and can be used whole group, small group, or independently. Simply print, copy, and leave the teacher notes and answer keys for your substitute.

Included are:

1. Original Thanksgiving Nonfiction Passage. Three versions of an original passage on the history of Thanksgiving. Perfect for differentiating. Each passage is four pages long and includes several text features such as: bold words, captions, headings, maps, and photos. A separate word bank is also included.

2. Thanksgiving Close Reading Practices. Students read the passage three times and complete a different close reading practice after each. Spread the sheets out over three days and you’ll have enough meaningful literacy work to fill the short Thanksgiving week.

3. Thanksgiving Writing Prompts. Students use inferences to complete four writing prompts. In order to answer completely, they must use text evidence in their responses.

4. Thanksgiving Writing Pages. These blank writing templates with a Thanksgiving theme can be used in several ways. Have students write about the people and things they are thankful for and post in your room or send home to families. Several options included.

5. Thanksgiving Vocabulary Booklet. Nine words important to the Thanksgiving story fill the pages of this booklet. Students write a sentence telling what they knew about the word before reading the passage, a sentence on what they’ve learned about the word, make connections to other words, and draw their idea of the word in the box. Pages can be cut in half and stapled on the side to make a booklet.

6. Story Images. Students can use the twelve images to summarize the text or retell the story of Thanksgiving to a partner. The picture cards also could be used as writing prompts. Each image is important to the first Thanksgiving or the holiday that we celebrate today.

7. Thanksgiving Craft - Thankful Tree. Complete the trees using thumbprints or the included leaf cut outs.

8. Thanksgiving Bookmarks

9. Thanksgiving Close Reading Thinkmarks

10. Answer Keys to Close Reading Practices

For other holiday themed resources that feature guided close reading practice, be sure to see my:

>UPDATE: Purchase all six holiday resources in a money saving bundle! Holiday Resources Bundle

Chocolate: A Nonfiction Mini-Unit for Valentine’s Day

St. Patrick and The Emerald Isle: A Nonfiction Mini-Unit with Close Reading Practices

Earth Day: A Nonfiction Mini-Unit with Close Reading Practices

Hanukkah: A Nonfiction Mini-Unit with Close Reading Practices

Christmas: A Nonfiction Mini-Unit with Close Reading Practices

This product was completely revised on 11/12/15, expanded from 34 pages to 62, and now includes additional passages, writing prompts, and more. Please re-download if you purchased before this date.


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© 2015 Jennifer Martinez, everything just so. All rights reserved. License permits individual use in single classroom only. To share with friends, additional licenses are available at half the original price. No part of this work may be reproduced in any way or by any means without expressed written consent of the author. Thank you for helping to protect my work!

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Days

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Thanksgiving Activities: Close Reading, Writing Response,
Thanksgiving Activities: Close Reading, Writing Response,
Thanksgiving Activities: Close Reading, Writing Response,
Thanksgiving Activities: Close Reading, Writing Response,
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