My students always seem to prefer nonfiction reading, especially the boys. During the month of November, I use this to my advantage and work on several nonfiction Thanksgiving reading comprehension activities with my students.
I provide a wide range of texts for my students to choose from. Topics include everything from learning about turkeys to understanding the sport of football. We read about the Pilgrims and what they endured traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, and then creating a home for themselves in the New World. We also read about the Native Americans and how they helped the Pilgrims. Finally, of course, we read about the first Thanksgiving.
In conjunction with all of these texts, I have my students complete the Mr. Turkey 5W's & 1H Graphic Organizer. With any nonfiction text, I expect students to be able to state the who, what, where, when, why and how.
Even though the 5W's and 1H graphic organizer is embellished with a Thanksgiving image (Mr. Turkey), you can certainly use it with any text during the month of November.
Thanksgiving is one of the easier holidays to work on with my students because it is not a religious holiday!
After your Thanksgiving reading activities ensure students can recall the most important parts of the text! The Turkey Story Map helps students build reading comprehension and to organize their thoughts.
Use the Turkey Story Map to break down a favorite Thanksgiving read aloud or any text that is read during the month of November.
Encourage your students to fill out the Thanksgiving-inspired book recommendation sheet after reading a book that they want to share with their peers. This simple Thanksgiving reading comprehension worksheet requires students write a brief summary of a book and an explanation of why they are recommending the book to their classmates.
The Gobble-Up-A-Good-Book Recommendation Sheet should be kept near your classroom reading library to inspire students to select books that were read by their classmates.
What is your favorite book?
What series do you enjoy reading?
What character do you want to know more about?
What is your favorite genre? Least favorite genre?
What author would you like to have over to dinner?
Once students have written out their questions, have them decorate the center of the placemat with Thanksgiving-themed artwork.
This next activity isn't technically a Thanksgiving reading activity, but it reinforces a skill necessary for students to fully comprehend a text.
The Recipe for Cooking the Perfect Turkey Sequence Writing Activity will task students with writing recipe instructions using sequence words. For primary grade-level students, the focus of this lesson should be an introduction or a review of sequence words.
Display sequence words: first, second, third, next, then, last, and finally. Explain that they will be using these words to write a recipe for how to cook a turkey. Tell students that a recipe usually includes: ingredients, a list of step-by-step instructions using sequence words, a temperature for cooking, and a time frame for cooking.
I try not to give too much information about cooking a turkey because what the students come up with on their own is usually hilarious, but for students that need support getting started, you can ask questions such as:
Where do you get a turkey?
How do you prepare it?
How long do you cook it?
At what temperature do you cook it?
After your students finish writing their instructions, have them publish on the downloadable recipe cards provided. Hang the recipe cards on a bulletin board for all to enjoy!
n November of last year, I stumbled upon the book Milly and the Macy's Parade by Shana Corey—and my students just adored it.
It was a great book to use before the Thanksgiving holiday and it was the perfect text to review “comprehension reading strategies” with my students.
Reading comprehension strategies help students stay engaged and think about what they are reading. Utilizing reading strategies requires students to stay active while reading a passage, which can lead to comprehending a text on a deeper level.
Download my Milly and the Macy's Parade guide for reviewing comprehension reading strategies. This guide provides book pages and teaching points to engage students in a discussion about the text! I've done the work for you!
To read an overview about comprehension reading strategies, read the full article!