Today we read The Very First Thanksgiving Day. It was the perfect read-aloud for this month. The students loved the melodic rhyming of the story. Instead of doing a traditional read-aloud with my kids, I have started doing close reads. We use the same story and read it at least 3 times. We read it for a different purpose each time. I also ask rigorous text dependent questions during each read that allow me to meet all of the Reading Literature Standards during my read-alouds.
After the first read, we discussed the main idea and details after we read it and I jotted notes of the key words and phrases with the class.
During the second read, we focused on the craft and structure of the text and noticed that each sentence starts with “these are the” or “this is the.” It is a great cumulative rhyming story because the text repeats itself as the story progresses. The story took us through each of the major events from the first Thanksgiving. Together we sequenced the events in order using a timeline. This was such a fun activity because the book actually tells you the events in reverse so it took some “digging” into the text to figure out the correct sequence.
Then we read the text again. Yes again! You’d be shocked at how excited they are to read the same book again. They are always eager to see what else we can learn from the book each time. This time we focused on the illustrations. Once we were done, I let them know they were going to create their own Thanksgiving Diorama using all the scenes from the book. They were so excited! This was such an engaging cumulative project and they really got to demonstrate their understanding of the text. They wrote tags to describe the scenes using the same writing craft that the author used.
You can grab the lesson plans, graphic organizers, text dependent questions, sequencing cards, and craft cut-outs from our TPT store if you are wanting to try a new way to do read-alouds this month.
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