Get Ready to Teach in NOVEMBER {resources, books, and ideas}

If you are looking for fun November activities that are also educational, I have some great math and writing lessons that I did with my own students as well as some favorite November books for kids that I think you will enjoy. 
How to Cook a Turkey
It doesn't matter what grade you teach...if do not have your students write "How to Cook a Turkey," you are missing out. It is so much fun to read how kids think Thanksgiving dinner is prepared.

Favorite Thanksgiving Food
Speaking of Thanksgiving dinner, do you have a favorite food? Is it the mashed potatoes or the stuffing? Perhaps it is the cranberry sauce. Favorite foods make great topics for descriptive writing practice...and it pairs so well with a math activity graphing that data as a class.

I would highly suggest NOT doing these lessons right before lunch. All that talk about Thanksgiving deliciousness had my mouth watering. I created these activities to give the students some exposure and practice with data in math. It is not a unit that come up in our curriculum until later in the year, however, I put great value into the importance of spiral review and this is a really fun way to make sure they are engaged in the concept of data and graphing multiple time throughout the year. This simple project has them collecting, sorting, and representing data based on favorite Thanksgiving foods. I did it with 3rd graders, but because I've included differentiated versions within each resource the activities have been used successfully by teachers in all elementary grade levels.

Here's how it looked in my classroom: I began by having the children each write their favorite Thanksgiving Day food item onto one of the cards and illustrating their selection.  After reviewing the cards we brainstormed categories we could use to sort the cards. I've included several options in the printable resources as well as the numbers to create a large bar graph to display. I set up the intervals and had the class sit around a table to help sort. After we sorted and placed data, we discussed our observations.

I also had the students complete a November descriptive writing project describing their favorite Thanksgiving Day foods. These were displayed with the adorable craft project shown in the photo below. Each student creates a Thanksgiving meal using construction paper on a paper plate. 

The completed favorite food writing and Thanksgiving dinner crafts were displayed on my November bulletin board next to the students Turkey in Disguise projects which is ALWAYS an annual favorite.


The TURKEY IN DISGUISE writing project also has a craft project to complement it. I have used this resource every year throughout my entire career and it makes me smile every time I see how excited the kids get about it. 

I personally have used it both as an in class project and as our November homework project for families. Both options had their own benefits so really it depends on what works best for your class of students.

I go into much greater detail about all the different steps I take when teaching a Disguise a Turkey lesson and I encourage you to read the Turkey in Disguise blog post to get lots of tips and ideas for teaching it to your students.

I've even created a printable resource packet that includes everything you need to rock this activity in your classroom. I always differentiate my printables so they can meet the varied needs of all the learners in one classroom or be used across grade levels. Teachers love the flexibility this resource provides. Because there are so many differentiated pages enclosed you can use it year after year even if you switch grades.

This Disguise a Turkey resource can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Have the students write a persuasive paragraph from the perspective of the turkey.
  • Have the students write an opinion paragraph about if the turkey should be eaten.
  • Have the students write a descriptive paragraph describing the turkey in disguise.
  • Younger learners can even use the printable pages to draw the turkey.

Surprise your students with a fun treat at snack time: 
{source:Child at Heart}

Love the idea of making this wreath as a class project to display on a classroom door.
{source: MPM School Supply}
I plan to make this a choice activity for the many indoor recesses I anticipate we'll have this month. I think the best way to do this would be to make ink pads and baby wipes available to keep the mess to a minimum.
{source: Scholastic}

This 3D turkey would be the perfect addition to a November bulletin board. I plan to have each student create one of their own and will attach their How to Cook a Turkey writing project to the top.

{source: Martha Stewart}

Below are some images and details of the products featured above from my classroom.

The Turkey in Disguise Project is always a favorite with the kids. You can read more about it on the original blog post.

We integrate some math (graphing) with writing when we complete a My Favorite Thanksgiving Food activity. The students graph their favorite food and together we analyze the data. Each child then writes a descriptive piece about their favorite foods and we create a paper pieced craft project to display with the writing on a bulletin board.

A good portion of the month of November in our classroom is spent learning about the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. Historically, (no pun intended) we make lapbook portfolios to document student learning. You may want to visit the original blog post for that as well. You can access that post here.

Plimoth Rock Around the Clock - A Performance Based Time Telling Activity

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