Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano illustrated by Lee Harper
The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene illustrated by Susan Gaber
When browsing through our November book file, we stumbled upon this treasure. What a find! This beautifully illustrated story by Rhonda Gowler Greene teaches children about the events that led up to the very first Thanksgiving Day and celebrates two groups of people that came together to feast and give thanks for their harvest. It is a cumulative rhyming story where events are repeated and circle around. The more complex structure of this story lends itself to sequencing. Students have to think critically to put the events in order. We created event cards to sequence as a class and students will then put their own event cards in order on their own time lines. Once students learn all about the first Thanksgiving, they will create dioramas based on the people and events from the story. You can read more about our The Very First Thanksgiving Day lesson plans here.
My Teacher for President by by Kay Winters and Denise Brunkus
We paired these two stories to teach children about Election Day. “Duck for President” is an adorable story that teaches young students about the election process through Duck’s political journey. Duck is tired of doing his chores on the farm and climbs his way to the top until he is elected as President of the United States. Running the country turns out to be more work and stress than he planned on so Duck returns back to the farm to write his autobiography.
In “My Teacher for President,” Oliver, believes his teacher has the qualities to run for President. He writes a letter to Channel 39, listing all the reasons his teacher would be a perfect candidate.
We felt students will need some background knowledge about politicians and the election process to better comprehend and respond to these two stories. We wrote a short text entitled “What Does a Politician Do?” to front load these close reads. Much of the story is told through the illustrations in both of these books. This provides an opportunity for students to use illustrations and details to describe the events. Students will also learn about cause and effect and complete a graphic organizer about Duck and his response to different events in the story. Students will use information from both stories to brainstorm and write about things they would change if they were elected class president.
In November by Cynthia Rylant illustrated by Jill Kastner