Lesson Plans and Thanksgiving!


Get a Turkey, some stuffing, and mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving is here! One of the best holidays with its share of food, friends, and family. This is also the perfect time of year to use lesson plans linked with the holidays! Since it is Thanksgiving almost, it only suits to use some lesson plans linked to Thanksgiving.

Here are some ideas for having Thanksgiving a part of your lesson plans!

 A Fill-in Exercise

A Short Thanksgiving Film from Scholastic

Things You Don’t Know About Thanksgiving

Some Fun Facts About the Holiday!

And a game:

Thanksgiving Escape and the Walkthrough

Why, you ask for the game. Larry Ferlazzo writes that using a Walkthrough alongside a game helps language-development and reading skills. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy holidays!

Most common mistake when teaching writing

What’s the difference between revising and editing a piece of writing?  Many people, including tutors and professionals, confuse the two.

Revising is the process of expanding and clarifying what is written and should be done before the piece is edited.  The writer may revise a piece several times.  The tutor uses questions to get the learner to do the work.  Strategies could include the following:

  • Ask what the piece is about, who the audience is and how this should affect the audience.
  • Have the learner read the piece to you and then discuss the content.  Ask if the topic is clear and can any details be added, changed or taken out to make the ideas clearer.
  • Are the ideas put in a logical order?
  • The tutor reads the piece aloud as the learner listens critically.  You might ask, “Does this say what you want it to say?” “What do you like best about it?”  “Can you do anything to improve it?”

When you make suggestions, use the form of questions, such as

  • What would happen if …..?
  • How would it sound if…..
  • When this happened, what else did you notice?

Editing involves correcting the grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, etc.  In other words, editing works on the mechanics.  We don’t want to overwhelm the learner—just work on one or two errors or one general principle at a time.  It is very important to encourage the writer that the message is more important than spelling, grammar or penmanship.  Show the learner that you value and understand what (s)he has written by responding to the message before correcting minor errors. This may give the learner the courage to actually use writing.

Regardless of whether the writing is a personal letter, essay or term paper, the process is the same.

-A lesson in writing compliments of Olive Burkard,
Certified ProLiteracy Trainer, Lake County Library System

Memorial Day Lesson Plans!

When Memorial Day first was proclaimed a U.S. holiday in 1868, it was a solemn day set aside to remember and honor the nation’s war dead. While it is still celebrated for that reason, many people recognize it as a day off, start of pool season, and a reason for sales at different stores. Take the time this Memorial Day to learn more about the holiday and different ways to celebrate it with your students.

If you are looking for writing practice, try watching a video on Memorial Day Across America or look through a slideshow of pictures. Share how you celebrate the holiday with your student and  ask if they are willing to share how they celebrate or a memory from their past. You can then have the student write a journal entry reflecting on their experiences or write down the key words mentioned in the video or your student’s story to go over.

If your student is more advanced or interested in history, start by looking at this graphic interactive slideshow focusing on the history of Memorial Day. You can also use an infographic of the history of Memorial Day to read through together. Once you’re done learning about the history, try a fill in the blank to check reading comprehension.

Memorial Day can be a great opportunity to incorporate civics in an ESL curriculum. Use this Pre-Intermediate English Lesson on Memorial Day to learn about the holiday and then test comprehension with a quiz. The EL Civics for Memorial Day site has a brief passage on traditions of the holiday and then questions you can ask your students to test comprehension and start conversation on the topic (i.e. How are you celebrating this year?). You can also practice a CLOZE exercise to understand verb tense.

Other lesson plan sites

Memorial Day Lessons and Teacher Resources- Lessons Page

Memorial Day Teacher’s Resources- Teacher Vision

Free Memorial Day Lesson Plans- Yahoo

Art Literacy at the Dali

“To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country”- George Washington

Did you know that Americans who read books, visit museums, attend theater, and engage in other arts are more active in community life than those who do not? Arts participants, especially readers, engage in positive civic and individual activities, from exercise to charity work, at a strikingly higher rate than non-participants (National Endowment for the Arts). For literary readers, the volunteer rate is 43%, nearly three times greater than for non-readers. As members working in the literacy field, we understand that reading opens several doors for individuals to become productive members of society. So what else can we do?

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, recognizes the importance of the arts and literacy. They have several adult, family, and youth education programs at their campus.  On their website, they provide teacher’s guides, lesson plans, and crafts for students of all ages. The teacher’s guide includes painting descriptions, key works from the collection, a biography of Salvador Dali, as well as a resource list for all their opportunities. This is perfect if you and your student want to go on a field trip or explore a different curriculum. The lesson plans cover a variety of subjects. It creates a multi-faceted learning experience where students are able to learn about Dali’s life and work, but also practice reading and critical thinking skills.

The Dali Museum makes several efforts to highlight student work and include education into their curriculum. They are also minutes away from the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, site for the 2012 Florida Literacy Conference, and contributed tickets to the famous silent auction.

Bethany Mead, the Education Coordinator at the Dali Museum, has a few words on the Dali’s Junior and Teen Docent programs. Read more to find out! Read about the Junior and Teen Docent programs