A lot of schools get the whole week off for Thanksgiving. Some students stay home to have a great meal with their family. Others travel far to spend time with extended relatives.
With travel, comes an interesting opportunity for your students to learn lessons they’d only learn outside of school. Here’s a couple ideas for “homework” assignments for your students (and none of them require highlighting in a yellow textbook.
Here we go!
I love roadtrips. Whether it’s to see family, a museum, or heck, even see the world’s largest rubber band, they never get old. The stories you hear, the people you meet. It’s an adventure. And that means your students are going to have great stories. Print out map worksheets and have your students write where they went along with a story. Or, use a US map to have students pin where they went on vacation.
This one’s simple, but I want you to challenge your students to think about what their thankful for. Jumping straight to family, friends, and a home, is easy. What are they truly thankful for? Ask them to give specific examples. In a page or two, you’ll learn a whole lot more about your students than you would giving them a simple times tables for multiplication.
Similar to number 2, but a little looser, what do you students enjoy about Thanksgiving? Is it the food? The family? Or the football in the front yard? Whatever it may be ask your students to draw a picture, write a short essay, or both, on why they think it’s their favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Did your students get the bigger part of the wishbone from the Turkey? That’d be a fun show and tell item. So would your student’s Black Friday deal steal or homemade biscuits (especially if they’re amazing). When students get the chance to talk about something they loved about vacation you not only learn something about them, but it’s a chance for their peers to learn, too. Bring show and tell back to your classroom for Thanksgiving break.
Family is all about storytelling. Whether you’re laughing about your sister’s go-kart story or how your uncle always makes Thanksgiving dinner a nightmare, there’s always opportunities to tell a good story. For me, a lot of the best stories come from my Grandparents. They have stories from a time I never experienced. And the stories are remembered so vividly, too. Chances are, your students hear some of these stories over Thanksgiving break. Give them the chance to write down the stories and share them with the class. They’ll learn other student’s stories and enjoy telling their own.
Everyone has their favorite recipes they look forward to every holiday – and Thanksgiving is no exception. Sometimes it’s Grandma’s homemade rolls with honey butter. Or, it could be your cousin’s famous bourbon pecan sweet potatoes. Have your students write about or bring in their favorite Thanksgiving recipe and share it with the class.
See? Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be textbooks and flag football. You can put meaning behind your student’s time off. And it’s more likely they’ll actually do the homework because it doesn’t involve a protractor or glass beaker.
Did you give your students any homework over Thanksgiving break? Let me know in the comments below.