Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

I don't know about you, but for my students talking about the past is very difficult!  The day after Halloween, I had some students who still had a few Halloween worksheets to finish and they refused (even though the worksheets had been a huge hit the entire week before!).  One kid said, "No.  It is November.  Time for Thanksgiving."  It was actually pretty funny.  But being able to understand and talk about the past is an important skill, so this month I decided I would make them do a Thanksgiving activity....AFTER Thanksgiving.  The activity involved students interviewing other students about their Thanksgiving celebration and then writing about their friend's Thanksgiving.  This was also very difficult for my students...after they asked the other student a question, they would try and answer it about themselves instead of listening to their friend and recording their answer.  But surprisingly, even though my students faced some challenges with this activity, it went extremely well.  Here is what the interview sheets looked like.

Since each group I worked with had 2 students, I am going to explain how we did this activity by referring to my kiddos as "Student 1" and "Student 2" to make it less confusing.  I gave Student 1 the interview sheet (and kept Student 2's copy).  Then I had Student 1 ask Student 2 each question.  After reading the question, Student 1 had to wait for Student 2 to respond as well as record Student 2's answer by circling correct answer.  Once all the questions were answered, we reversed (Student 2 asked Student 1 the questions).

After our interviews were complete, I had kids fill in the blanks on these worksheets (shown below) to write a paragraph about their friend's Thanksgiving.

 To fill in the blanks, some students used their interview sheet (as is shown below) while other students were challenged to remember what their friend had said without looking back at the interview.  Once we finished the worksheets, we took turns reading our paragraphs out loud.

Here is what the finished product looked like.  My student's work looked much nicer, but I blurred out all the names.

I see kids in groups of 2 for our direct instruction, so I used that time to work on this activity.

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