Thanksgiving Poetry & Nonfiction Lesson for Teens: Entitlement or Gratitude?

Julie Faulkner
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Julie Faulkner

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  1. If you are looking for quick and easy activities that you can use in November to keep your middle and high school students on task and engaged, then look no more! Every lesson, designed to add rigor and meaning to Thanksgiving, is standards-based, classroom-tested, rigorous, and grade level appropr
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This poetry and info text paired lesson for Thanksgiving is designed to spark a deep discussion and analysis of poetry with your high school students. With an easy-to-prep format for you, and standards-based, text-based activities for students

Student Experience: Students will explore the idea of entitlement v. gratitude as they dig deeply into the layers of this beautiful poem. The subtle ironic tone of this lesson will challenge your students to reflect on their own lives and choices. Its ultimate goal is for students to be able to delineate how theme develops and how two different texts can share the same theme. With the modern video “lecture talk” as one of the texts, students will be able to make connections and see relevancy to their world as well. Last, students will get creative, and finally, write a paragraph in response to one of the prompts you select.


- formal lesson plan

- guided ppt for instruction

- standards

- suggestions for multiple prompts

- worksheets for analysis/synthesis of the two texts

- links to texts

- project extensions ideas and additional texts

- 100% editable

- classroom annotations and suggested answers

Skills Covered:


Theme Development

How form relates to meaning


Citing Evidence

Making inferences

Figurative Language

Tone/Author’s Perspective

Classroom success stories from other teachers who have tried this resource:

♥ "I used this right before Thanksgiving, but I love that I can adapt the lesson to use any time of the year."

♥ "Thanks. Great lesson!! Great message!!"

♥ "Great activity for my Honors students that fit perfectly into our Poetry Unit around Thanksgiving. Students enjoyed exploring the idea of entitlement and really reflected on their own lives and choices."

To read a blog post with more images of this lesson visit my blog @ @ Faulkner's Fast Five

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For more ideas and inspiration:

Faulkner's Fast Five Blog

Julie's Classroom Stories on Instagram

Julie's Classroom Stories on Facebook

Teaching Middle and High School English Facebook Group

Yearbook and Journalism Facebook Group


Original Cover Photo by Julie Faulkner

Terms of Use: Please one classroom use only. Not to be shared online without proper security. Additional licenses sold at a discount at checkout. All images and art documented inside file.

Updated 2019

Total Pages
25 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.


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