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3 Thanksgiving Lesson Ideas for Reading Classrooms

Looking for a Thanksgiving lesson this fall? For a seasonal reading experience in your classroom, I have three Thanksgiving lesson ideas to share with you. These lesson ideas are perfect for pairing an English Language Arts goal with a November theme. This could include a theme like giving thanks, practicing gratitude, or celebrating Thanksgiving.

In today’s blog post, I have three lesson ideas that connect to Thanksgiving. They each feature the fantastic resources from Capstone Connect. We’ll start with a quick overview of everything you’ll find on Capstone’s platform for readers and then a few selections you can use during the Thanksgiving season.

Lesson Ideas for Reading Classrooms

Thanksgiving Lesson - Infographic

Before we jump into the Thanksgiving lesson ideas, a couple quick questions. Have you explored Capstone Connect yet? Are you familiar with PebbleGo, PebbleGo Next, and Capstone Interactive? 

This platform lets you quickly and easily locate articles and ebooks. Designed specifically for K-5 students, you can access a robust collection of Capstone resources, including PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next. This is also where you’ll find Capstone Interactive, where students can access interactive ebooks by searching through a digital collection through Connect. 

If you’ve stopped by the blog before, you might have checked out this list of Halloween reading activities featuring resources like the ones below. Or you might remember this blog post with tips to help you introduce informational text features to your students. Today we’re taking a Thanksgiving spin!

3 Thanksgiving Lesson Ideas

Within Capstone, you can access oodles of resources, including ebooks, articles, and activity guides. In the activities I share below, you’ll find a few examples of the types of content available to teachers and students on this platform. I’ve paired the three lesson ideas listed below with some of the excellent resources you can find in Capstone Connect.

Explore Holiday History

A quick keyword search within PebbleGo will take you and your students to an article with an overview of Thanksgiving. As you can see in the tabs on the top of the page, there are different sections to explore with students. You might read aloud the article to your class and pause for a turn and talk. Or you might share the link with students in Seesaw and have them explore on their own.

The screenshot below shows off some of the helpful features inside of PebbleGo Next that support independent reading. For example, students can click the yellow button to hear the passage read aloud. Or they can click on the bold vocabulary words to hear a word pronounced and find a definition. These features give you lots of options for using the content on the platform with your students or differentiating a reading experience for a group of students.

Thanksgiving Reading Lessons

Read a Thanksgiving Story

The ebook library within Capstone has lots of great resources, including this Thanksgiving-themed read-aloud. You might decide to read Happy Thanksgiving, Gus! This ebook selection lets students read at their own pace or use the auto-play button at the bottom of the page. The autoplay option is excellent for students who want to explore the text independently but need additional support.

Thanksgiving Reading Lesson

In this book, the teacher asks the students in the class to bring in a picture of one thing they are thankful for. You might use a similar prompt with students after reading this book together or add the activity into a station for students to work on independently or with a small group. Students might draw a picture of something they are thankful for instead or jump into a space like Microsoft Flip and record a video responding to this prompt. Alternatively, you might use Happy Thanksgiving, Gus! To inspire a reading response where students write their own Thanksgiving-themed stories.

Thanksgiving Reading Lesson Ideas

Learn About Fall Animals

Turkeys are often associated with this time of year and certainly in conversations around Thanksgiving. In PebbleGo, you can find lots of articles about animals, including two featuring turkeys. This link takes you to an article about wild turkeys, with information on their habitat, diet, and more. You might decide to ask students what other animals they’d like to read about or use this selection to kick off a research activity around birds or other animals associated with fall.

Ready to get started with these Thanksgiving lesson ideas? Use this link to explore Capstone’s website and learn more about PebbleGo, PebbleGo Next, PebbleGo Create, and all of the ebooks available on their platform. Are you already using Capstone’s resources? I’d love to hear about your own Thanksgiving lesson ideas! Share a story from your classroom on Instagram or Twitter, and don’t forget to tag @ClassTechTips.

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Blog Author and EdTech Consultant Dr. Monica Burns

Monica Burns

Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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