Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to integrate American culture into lessons. Some ELL learners will have celebrated Thanksgiving their entire life. These students will be able to share their family’s traditions around the holiday. Other students will have never experienced the holiday before and will benefit from a basic overview of what the holiday is. Here are some ideas for integrating the holidays traditions into your lessons.
Speak and Write about Thanksgiving Traditions
Students can share family traditions around Thanksgiving day. Some students may need assistance identifying what these traditions are. Food is one place to start that is concrete even for young students. For ELL learners give opportunities for them to draw and/or orally share before moving on to writing.
I have writing task cards to help students write about Thanksgiving. I include pictures to help with vocabulary and to generate ideas. Topics include what students are thankful for and describing food that they eat.
Use Read Alouds to Introduce the Holiday
There are many picture books that can be used to introduce students to the history and cultural practices surrounding Thanksgiving. Check out my list of books to use with your ESOL students.
Integrate Thanksgiving Vocabulary into Content Lessons
**Check out my Pinterest board for additional Thanksgiving ideas.