Covering Content Using There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey
Thanksgiving is a crazy but fun time in lower elementary school. Teachers strive to make their activities content-rich, while students are in dire need of a break. If your school is like mine, we also have progress reports due before the students leave for the holiday! So how do we as educators cover content while letting our students have fun learning? Let’s dive in so I can show you how I cover content and even grab some assessments all while students have a blast.
First Things First
This week I am using the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey as my fictional piece of literature. This is an excellent book by Lucille Colladro that has tons of repeating words in it, which help build confidence for my little learners to readers. Another reason I love this book is that it also shows tons of actual Thanksgiving traditions like parades and floats.
Sequencing the Story
After we read the story together, we break the story down to sequence the events. Students love using these picture-rich cards for sequencing. They also can follow up with ordering the events with their own printable sequencing sheet. Since this sequencing sheet also uses ordinal numbers up to 10, you are covering two standards with one activity! We like to use the sequencing cards in the whole group, but we can easily complete the sequencing sheet independently.
Reading Comprehension Game
We also love to play this reading comprehension game. It is the ideal way to see which students understand what they are listening to or reading on their own. Your students think they are playing a game and you are instantly assessing tons of reading comprehension skills. I take a class list, then use a check mark or an X by their name to indicate how many questions they get correct.
When I say my students RUN to this game, I am understating their enthusiasm. This activity is never quick nor quiet, but it is a TON of fun. We use a die and unifx cubes for the game pieces. This game is perfect for parent volunteers and can even be used as a take-home activity for parents and students to play together.
Getting students to write about what they read is an ideal way to integrate multiple subjects and have a blast while doing so! You can see this word wall and multiple writing prompts for this activity. You do not have to use the word wall, but it is a resource you can provide if needed.
Building Word Mats
What About Math?
One of our favorite games to play is called fill the ten frame. Students use this foam die (or the printable one provided) to roll. Next, students graph the image that lands on top of their record sheet. They keep rolling and graphing until they fill a ten-frame. This game is fun, but also so educational. Student can write their numbers in the spots as well. Comparing numbers is huge in this game and your students will never get tired of playing.