A November Harvest of Nouns & Non-Fiction

13 November 2015 / 1 comment
Hello Friends!

It's Jennifer here from Stories and Songs in Second!  I'm stopping by with my "time travel machine" to share ideas about how to make an important period of our nation's history more meaningful for your students.  Climb aboard  and enjoy my harvest of resources that will help you integrate Social Studies into your Thanksgiving reading, grammar, and writing lessons.

When planning lessons for my little people, I do my best to incorporate activities that 

  • engage 
  • explore
  • expand vocabulary
  • extend the learning experience
  • enrich their lives with an important lesson  

I've attempted to outline my process for you here.....

Last year, my friend Em from Curious Firsties created this wonderful slide show comparing 
old-fashioned and modern-day artifacts.  Her Mom is a collector, and all of the items featured are from her treasure trove of antiques.   My second graders had a grand time analyzing the daily tools from long ago life and  guessing what each object or tool was.   It was great fun listening to their predictions and watching their reactions!

Check out Em's post about her class presentation from last year {HERE}.  Download the Powerpoint to use as your own classroom compare/contrast activity {HERE}.  Thanks in advance for leaving kind feedback! 

After sharing the Powerpoint, we continue comparing and contrasting modern day life to the Pilgrim's with a variety of non-fiction picture books. They all provide a "child's eye view of the early settler's daily life through the use of stunning photographs and text written in journal entry style.  You can also visit Free Technology for Teachers {HERE} for a great list of hyperlinks to online resources related to the first Thanksgiving.  You will find virtual tours of the Mayflower and a Pilgrim village {HERE} on the Scholastic website.  Take your students on a "field trip back in time!"

All three of the texts recommended above lend themselves well to a noun study, and I recently created this set of anchor and pocket chart labels and word cards as a way to improve my students' grammar skills and encourage them to apply their Social Studies knowledge!

Click {HERE} to find it in my TpT store!

When it is time to assess student understanding of the concepts taught in this integrated unit, I plan to construct a Venn Diagram with two hula hoops on my classroom floor!  My group will then work together to sort the nouns into present, both, or past categories.  We'll use three hula hoops when we sort the noun cards into common, proper, or collective noun categories.  Maybe we'll even go outside and find some sticks to roll our hula hoops in a "Pilgrim style" relay race when it is time for recess! Nothing like old-fashioned fun to help make even more connections between the present an the past, right?

Before I ask my students to write stories or reports about what they've learned about past and present Thanksgiving customs and practices next week, they'll brainstorm their own lists of the different types of nouns.

This year, I plan to celebrate the end of our combined noun and Thanksgiving unit with a book study of Stone Soup!  This post from Michelle over at Teach 123 was my inspiration, and I cannot wait to fire up my crockpot, gather together and cook up a delicious lesson on how collaboration and cooperation are two things to be truly grateful for!

Know that my fellow teacher-authors here at Classroom Tested Resources are grateful for YOU, our readers, and wish you a wonderful holiday season!  May you go safely "over the river and through the woods" to spend special time with family and friends!

Warm Regards,

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy all the options that are available this time of year. Helping our students peer into the past is complicated, abstract, but a lot of fun! I like the way you used the hula hoops for your Venn Diagram. Just this simple addition is so engaging and more hands on to our kiddos! I love it! Thanks for the great post and the list of book options.


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