Saturday, December 7, 2013

School Age Storytime: Thanksgiving and Immigration


Storytimes celebrating Thanksgiving -- the history of the holiday, the many people who over the years have come to this country to find freedom, and the Native Americans who were here before the Pilgrims.
(Lots of Material to pick/choose from)
(Scroll to the bottom to see letters from class visits)

Book/Song: Over the River & Through the Woods - Child/Westcott (other nice editions available)

Book: This is the Feast – Diana Z. Shore -- rhyming, beautifully illustrated  narration of the Pilgrims journey and the hardships they faced, the help they received from the Native Americans, and the feast they shared. (First primary-aged source I've seen that mentions that the Pilgrims found cleared fields because the original Native Americans here had died from illness.)

Prop/Song: I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie  based on the book by Alison Jackson (great song for helping kids work on their memory skills – try to have them remember the different foods in the countdown; can also use rhyming reminders (phonemic awareness) as clues.) (We use a cardboard old lady with a plastic see-through stomach panel and a cardboard box mounted behind for the food items -- diagram at: Lyrics and more images:

Book: Molly's Pilgrim -- Barbara Cohen (This long but powerful picture book really engages students. This story of an immigrant Jewish girl in around 1910 who learns that her family are pilgrims too also addresses bullying, name-calling, and prejudice. Another great story (chapter book) about a Jewish family on the lower East side in NYC at this time is "All of a Kind Family" by Sidney Taylor -- makes a great read-aloud!)

Alt. Books: Duck for Turkey Day -- – Jacqueline Jules  (A kindergartner is terribly worried that her Vietnamese immigrant family has "Turkey Day" all wrong when they eat duck till she learns that many other kids in her multi-cultural classroom didn't eat Turkey either!) or Thanksgiving at the Tappletons – Eileen Spinelli (1992 edition shows people)  (When the Thanksgiving turkey sinks in a pond,and all the other trimmings also fail to materialize,  family discovers Thanksgiving can be celebrated with Cheese and Liverwurst sandwiches as long as you have the people you love. Great lead in for Thanksgiving food drives.)

Glove Puppets : Uno, Dos, Tres Amigos (reinforces idea that we all have come from different places but celebrate together; enumeration practice, learn/reinforce Spanish language numbers)  (text and images at

Towel folding story: The Case of the Missing Thanksgiving Turkey -- Rhonda Turley  (text and technique at )

Song: The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven (words: Jack Prelutsky, chorus: Cathy Darby)Tune: “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” Lyrics here:  Check it out on Youtube, subtitled in Chinese!

11.13 Bedm.

11.14 no Bedm,

11.15 Bedm:

This is the Feast – Diana Z. Shore
(Book/Song) One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims – B.G.Hennessy
Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson (394.2649 AND)
(Song/Prop) I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
(discussion: who came from a different country? parents? grandparents?)
How Many Days to America – Eve Bunting
Song: "Uno Dos Tres Amigos"
Duck for Turkey Day – Jules
Towel Folding Turkey Story (directions above)
Song: The Turkey Shot out of the Oven (above)

11.16 Bedm:

Book/Song: One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims – B.G.Hennessy (point out what they are doing in the pictures – that the Wampanoag’s help enabled the Pilgrims to get the food they needed to survive – no Shoprite or Costco!)
Song/flannel: Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day (Kdg)
Book: Duck for Turkey Day – Jacqueline Jules
Discussion: who came from a different country? parents? grandparents? – all of us came to this country at some time unless we are Native Americans)
Song/Glove: "Uno Dos Tres Amigos" (sang in other languages students knew)
Book: Thanksgiving at the Tappletons' by Eileen Spinelli or Over the River and Through the Wood – Lydia Maria Child/Westcott illustrations or Setting the Turkeys Free by W. Nikola Lisa
Storytelling: Towel Folding Turkey Story (directions above)
Action song: Turkey Trot (Hokey Pokey)

Book: This is Me: A Story of Who We Are & Where We Came From – Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell (many families came to America with only the clothes on their backs and perhaps a small suitcase. If they were coming, what would they bring? what would they have to leave behind?)
Song/food pieces(used volunteer child & gallon plastic bag “stomach”) I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
Song: The Turkey Shot out of the Oven – based on the poem by Jack Prelutsky (above)

consider using for 2017:
In November by Cynthia Rylant or
Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac

2018: Bedm – used much of the program from Thanksgiving–AfterSchool Outreach – notes there.

Additional book possibilities – particularly emphasizing history/multicultural Thanksgiving:

Giving Thanks: 1621 Harvest Fest – Kate Waters 394.267 WAT
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving -- Catherine O'Neill Grace  394.2649 GRA (Though not a read-aloud, this book by National Geographic & the Plimouth Plantation dispells many of the myths that have grown up around this holiday and gives a historically accurate picture.)

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message -- Jake Swamp 299.7 SWAMP (also available as Reading Rainbow episode with Public Performance Rights called "Stories for Thanksgiving")
Brother Eagle, Sister Sky – Chief Seattle 811.3 SEA

Tapenum’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Wampanoag Boy – Kate Waters 974.4 WAT
Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving -- Joseph Bruchac In this beautifully told and illustrated narration, Squanto tells how he was captured by the British in 1614 then returned to the New World to find that his people had been devastated by sickness and how he became a guide and friend to the colonists.
Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Life of a Pilgrim Boy – Kate Waters 974.4 WAT
Sarah Morton’s Day: A Life of a Pilgrim Girl – Kate Waters 974.4 WAT
On the Mayflower – Kate Waters 974.4 WAT
Pilgrim Cat – Carol A. Peacock

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving – Laura Halse Anderson 394.2649 AND
Sarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday  – Mike Allegra 394.2649 ALL

How many days to America? : a Thanksgiving story -- Eve Bunting
Gracias, Thanks – Pat Mora  (bilingual)
Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey -- Joy Cowley (features a Puerto Rican family)
Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with Beto and Gaby -- Alma Flor Ada
Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel –Leslie Connor
Hand Me Down Horse (4th) –Marion Pomeranc
Fat Chance Thanksgiving – Pat Lakin (after apartment burns, child finds a new Thanksgiving)
American Wei – Marion W. Pomeranc (lost tooth at citizenship)
In America – Marissa Moss (great book on the melting pot – Polish Jew comes to Am)
My Diary from Here to There – Amada Irma Perez (gr.2+, somewhat long, but nice title about a Mexican immigrant family)
The Color of Home/Boundless Grace  – Mary Hoffman
Dreaming of America: An Ellis Island Story  -- Eve Bunting
Painting Words – Aliki  (no longer SCLS)
When this world was new -Figuerdo
The Prairie Train - O Flatharta
Rivka’s First Thanksgiving –Rael
One Green Apple – Bunting
I'm New Here -- Ann Sibley O'Brien (new immigrant kids from Guatemala, Korea, & Somalia navigate their new school here)
Grandfather's Journey - Allen Say (Japanese American misses other country)
The Keeping Quilt/The Blessing Cup -- Patricia Polacco
Anna & Solomon -- Elaine Snyder JB Snyder (man who emmigrates from Russia 1897 sends money back & one by one relatives arrive.)
My Two Blankets – Irena Kobald – (girl moving to a new country describes the language from home as a warm soft blanket until she becomes more comfortable)
Four Feet, Two Sandals – Karen Lynn Williams

Escaping to America: A True Story -- Rosalyn Schanzer J943.84 SCH
In the New World: A Family in Two Centuries -- Gerda Raidt J973.0431 RAI
Who Belongs Here? An American Story - Margy Burns Knight - J973 KNI
How My Family Lives in America -- Susan Kuklin  J973 KUK
What was it like Grandma?  Grandma Hekmati Remembers (An Arab American Family Story) -- Ann Morris J973.04927  MOR
At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices -- Louise Peacock (JFic)

Great booklist on picture books about refugees:
Letters from classes:

Thank you for taking time off your busy scedule to vist us.  During your Thanksgiving reading I learned that everyone in Amarica is not born in the U.S.  Love, Bay

Thank you for sharing your books with us.  I liked learning about that if you live on the other side of the world and you go to the other side, you are a pilgrim.  Love, Fin

Thank you for sharing books about real pilgrims and giving thanks today.  I learned that a pilgrim can be anyone that travils for a long way just to find freedom.  I also learned that nobody likes or wants to be bullyed like Molly.  Love, Maddie

I think you are grat!  You tout me that thar was a pilum named Molly.  Love, Erin

Thank you for coming to our class to read, play games, and have fun!  I lernd that pepel in our school can be pilgrims. Love, Abigail

Thank you for reading Pillgram storys.  I hope I cood read pilgram storys they were good storys I did realy like them because I realy want to live adote pilgrams. Love Juliana

Thank you for reading to me today.  I love the pilgrims.  I learned a lot from you!

Thank you so much for coming to are class to shere stupandas (stupendous) book with us.  What I learned all abot black and wite drast (dressed) pilgrims and Indse (Indians) with father (feathers) on ther back.  We love haveing you over in ouer class roor? thak you so much.  Have a happy thanksgiveing! Love, Jenna

Thank you for sharing books about real pilgrims and giving thanks today.  I learned that in the store the mom was ? and nadofomerkin (Native American)  Danny

Thank you for sharing books about real pilgrims and giving thanks today.  I learned that about pralgramms are inpoteint. Love, Nicholas

A good listing of Thanksgiving titles:

Reading Rainbow: Sea to Shining Sea -- Ellis Island

1 comment:

  1. Bedm 11/19:
    Encounter - Brittany Luby (new book, 1st grade only: Awakened gently by Sun, Sailor sets off to explore new lands where he meets Fisher, and although they speak and dress differently, they find they have much in common. Includes author's note about the first encounter between a European explorer and a Native North American.)
    One little, two little, three little pilgrims - B.G. Hennessy
    This is the feast - Diane Z. Shore
    Over the river and through the wood -Lydia Maria Child
    Duck for Turkey Day - Jacqueline Jules
    (talk about different countries children's families came from)
    Counting song: 1,2,3 Little Children (English 1st, then Spanish)
    The Thanksgiving door - Debby Atwell (After burning their Thanksgiving dinner, Ann and Ed head for the local cafe, where they are welcomed by an immigrant family into an unusual celebration that gives everyone cause to be thankful.)
    Prop/Song: I know an old lady who swallowed a pie - Alison Jackson
    Thanksgiving at the Tappletons - Eileen Spinelli (1st grade only)
    Towel folding - Turkey story (link above)
    Song: The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven - Jack Prelutsky (lyrics link above)


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