It is Thanksgiving time and it’s not my favorite time of year. It means a lot of cooking and football. While I like to cook, it is just a lot extra. I don’t like football. To get a better attitude I’ve been focusing on researching Thanksgiving and preparing resources to for an upper elementary or middle school unit on Thanksgiving that includes language arts, social studies, science, art & math.
Today’s component is Thanksgiving reading comprehension. I have included affiliate links for your convenience and I am part of the Amazon affiliate program, you can read my full disclosure here.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that one of my kids struggles with reading. He has dyslexia and all of the frustration and exhaustion that comes with it. That means I’m always on the lookout for age-appropriate materials that are easier to read. I also use a lot of audiobooks- thanks, Audible (Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks)
Enter Informational Texts…
Then I stumbled upon creating my own informational texts and teaching informational text structure and I’m hooked. I have created 4 informational texts about Thanksgiving topics. These informational texts can be used in conjunction with my free STEM unit or the collection of Thanksgiving STEM activities.
The focus of the Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension pack is informational texts again. I like focusing on informational texts because as a science college professor I saw that as an area of weakness in students over and over. I’m hoping that I can develop that muscle in my own kids and help you as well. These texts include references.
These 4 informational texts include:
This text includes a brief history of the cranberry. We cover the reason cranberries float and harvesting methods.
Interested in checking out a sample? You can grab the Cranberries text by clicking on the image below.
How did Thanksgiving become a national holiday in the U.S.?
Thanksgiving hasn’t been a national holiday since the beginning. We discuss the events that led to its declaration as a national holiday as well as the Godmother of Thanksgiving.
Who were the Pilgrims?
This isn’t a first-grade reader. We discuss why the Pilgrims left England, their interactions with the Native People, and some of the beliefs of their faith.
Who were the Wampanoag?
The Wampanoag were the Native People that are associated with the first Thanksgiving feast. The reasons the Wampanoag went into peace agreements with the Pilgrims as well as the people involved. Descriptions of their way of life including location, settlements, and diet (as well as agriculture) are discussed.
Want the whole pack? CLICK HERE.
Looking for Fiction for Your Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension Unit?
Please keep in mind that fiction only tells parts of the story and often is unfair in its depiction of Native People. Have the kids read for bias and understanding.
The Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie back to the eve of the first Thanksgiving. There they meet the Pilgrims as well as Squanto, a Native American who helped them. The story offers an age-appropriate, in-depth picture of what life was really like for early settlers, as well as the usual Magic Tree House adventure and excitement.
In 1620 an English ship called the Mayflower landed on the shores inhabited by the Pokanoket, and it was Squanto who welcomed the newcomers and taught them how to survive. When a good harvest was gathered, the people feasted together–a tradition that continues almost four hundred years later.
When Bartholemew, Remember, and Mary Allerton and their parents first step down from the Mayflower after sixty days at sea, they never dream that life in the New World will be so hard. Many in their Plymouth colony won’t make it through the winter, and the colony’s first harvest is possible only with the help of two friends, Samoset and Squanto.
Every year Grandmother invited a guest for Thanksgiving dinner and allowed Maggie to do the same. “Ask someone poor or lonely,” she always said. Thanksgiving was Grandmother’s favorite day of the year.