Thanksgiving, Native Americans, Pilgrims

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Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

The Firefighter’s Thanksgiving by Maribeth Boelts

Arthur’s Thanksgiving

The Night Before Thanksgiving by Wendi Silvano

Sometimes It’s Turkey, Sometimes It’s Feathers by Lorna Balian

Turkey Surprise by Peggy Archer

In November by Cynthia Rylant

Over the River: A Turkey’s Tale by Derek Anderson

A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman

The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz

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Henry and Mudge: Under the Yellow Moon

*Turkey Trouble is a great story to use with an art project of disguising a turkey.

Native Americans:

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Giving Thanks

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

Dream Wolf

Her Seven Brothers

Iktomi and the Coyote

Love Flute

The Return of the Buffalos

The Story of Jumping Mouse

The Rough Face Girl

The Legend of the Blue Bonnet


How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

Squanto’s Journey

Mama, Do You Love Me?

Corn is Maize

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

Arrow to the Sun

It Happened in Colorado by James Crutchfield (Read the article called “The Great Buffalo Hunt.”

The Gift of the Sacred Dog

Native American Report

IMG_7616IMG_7618IMG_7619IMG_7622IMG_7623One of the standards for our third graders was to create a report about Native Americans.  Our school used the Step Up to Writing method, so we had the students pick a Native American group and write paragraphs on their food, homes, clothing, and tools.  They wrote on one topic at a time with at least 5 sentences and then illustrated it.  Other topics were optional such as art, etc.  The report also included a United States map with the location of the tribes marked.  At the end the report had a test that the author of the report created to go along with their report.  The class would read the reports and then answer the questions on the test.  There were opportunities to exceed the standard by creating a poem, word search, puzzles, or whatever creative idea the student could come up with.  On the cover each student drew a colorful illustration of their Native American group.  My picture shows a folder used for an animal report, but it is the same idea.  I hung up posters with each topic heading that the students had to have in their report with ideas on what to research.

This was a great way to practice using encyclopedias, the Internet, and researching in the library using books.  The students used T-outlines to take notes on each topic during their research.

To meet the standard:

  • report has 4 topics with 5 sentence paragraphs
  • each paragraph has a colorful illustration
  • table of contents coordinating with numbered pages
  • map illustrating where the group of Native Americans lived
  • colorful outside folder
  • neat handwriting

clothing t


food sheet


houses sheet


tools outline


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After reading, The Gift of the Sacred Dog by Paul Goble, the students divided a large piece of butcher paper into thirds.  In each third they summarized and drew pictures to tell the beginning, middle, and ending.  On the back the students self assessed their work and told what they think their grade should be and why.  There is also a movie that goes along with this book.


Supermarket of the Plains: If you teach about Native Americans, this poster is great.  I just traced a buffalo and all the other parts onto a piece of paper.  Then I transferred it to an overhead to enlarge it onto a poster.  The kids love to hear about all the different ways that the Plains Indians used parts of the buffalo.  Each student got his/her own small version to put in their folder.


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