I love Thanksgiving for a myriad of reasons. Some personal and some professional. One of the reasons I love Thanksgiving professionally, is because the abbreviated week leading up to the holiday allows for me to get a little more creative than I can with regular curriculum work.
For the past 2 years, the second grade teachers in my school have been doing a mini-unit in the 3 days before Thanksgiving all about the Macy's parade. This unit was created out of both want and need. Ever since I can remember I have loved watching the parade, and it gives us a chance to teach about something having to do with Thanksgiving that doesn't go into the gray area of teaching about the holiday itself.
This unit always starts with a thinking routine to see how much the students know. We use the routine "Think, Puzzle, Learned" which is very similar to a KWL. The students will come back to this chart after each lesson to add what they have learned to it.
We use a few books about the parade that the kids really like as well.
1. Balloons Over Broadway by, Melissa Sweet is the story of how the balloons came to be in the parade and the man who created them, Tony Sarg. The illustrations and the way the book is worded really capture the kids attention.
2. Milly and the Macy's Parade by, Shana Corey and Brett Hellquist is an historical fiction account of how the first Macy's parade came to be. This one is definitely a personal favorite of mine.
We also use this great Nearpod presentation. Who would have thought Nearpod would have virtual field trips to the Macy's parade!? At the end of the presentation the students are tasked with designing their own parade balloon.
Here are some of the examples:
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!