There are many important celebrations to talk about in your class in the month of November. From the importance of learning about the Veterans who have defended our country to the yearly harvest and Thanksgiving feasts, there is a lot to cover. It is important that our students learn about these celebrations as they are essential to the way our country runs and the history that makes us who we are.
As an Air Force veteran, I always loved to share my stories with my kiddos. I think it is important to learn the history of this holiday that celebrates those that are or have served our great country. We need to honor those that have risked their lives to keep us free. Another way to honor them is to write a letter or send care packages. First, ask your parents if they or anyone in their family has served our country. If not, reach out to your staff and see if anyone in the school has served. Usually, you will not have to look very far to find a veteran in your community.
Celebrate The Harvest Season
Learn about why we harvest our crops in the fall. Touch on the history of harvesting. You may want to focus on one type of crop to harvest. For instance, focus on harvesting corn. You can learn about the history of corn. Touch on the corn life cycle. This is also a fun time to learn about the different ways that you can enjoy corn. Do some fun taste testing of different types of popcorn (caramel, cheese, butter, etc) or different types of corn (whole, cream, sweet, shoe-peg, etc).
This is a great time to talk about family traditions. Talk about how each family may have a different tradition. They may eat different foods or meet with special family members for a feast. It is a great time to learn about your student’s family and give each child an opportunity to share. Teach about the history of Thanksgiving. You may want to talk about the many different changes from the original Thanksgiving to how we celebrate it today. Check with your school’s policies about teaching about the Pilgrims and Native Americans. I hear more and more about how they frown on teaching about these two subjects.
As always, it is a great time to keep learning FUN!
- Writing: Have your students explain how to bake a turkey. This was always a fun activity to do in the first grade. Some want to set the temp at 500 degrees and others at 2 degrees.
- Writing: Write a fictional story on how your grandma accidentally blew up the turkey. These are always such funny stories…and I just love how students can get so creative with this one.
- Art: Create art out with corn or learn the science behind what makes some corn pop.
- Science: Talk about the how the world changes when we get cooler weather.
- Art: create art out of corn or leaves.
- Art: Pinterest.com has over a million ideas on how to make a turkey.
- Reading: read books that relate to anything in November. You can even hop over to getepic.com to listen to some books that relate to November.
- History: Learn the history of different Native American tribes.
- Math: This is a great time to teach counting. You can use themed erasers (dollar bin at Target), candy corn, or even just plain corn to create counting stations. For older students, you can do arrays with these objects.
No matter what you do, just remember to make learning fun. There is no end to the fun you can have with November celebrations in your classroom. Take a few ideas from this list to incorporate Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and harvest time into your classrooms this year. Let me know your favorite ideas to use in your classroom in the comments below!