Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How to teach foreign students (and not only) about Thanksgiving

Hey, everyone!

As the holiday season approaches more quickly than everyone I thought, I decided to show you what I use in class before Thanksgiving.

As you might know, I teach in a multinational school, therefore, many students do not know, or know too less, about this American holiday. I do have many nationalities in my class, Indian, Pakistani, Korean, Chinese, British, and others. Since recently, I only told them verbally what the holiday was about, maybe even add a short Youtube video, but it didn't seem to be enough. The following year the same questions were asked, by the same students.

The most common questions they asked me were:

-What do Americans celebrate on Thanksgiving? (the history)
-Why is it called Thanksgiving?
-Why do people eat turkey that day?
-What other things did they eat on Thanksgiving?

This year I decided to try it differently, and so I created my own story about the topic. It's very easy for the children to relate to it because the main character is also a foreign student, a Korean  girl who is new to a school.


Little Sally (check my two other stories about Sally here) is about to have lunch with her friends, when she notices little Ahyun eating alone in the cafeteria. She invites her to have lunch with her and her friends. The group was just talking about the delicious turkey dinner they were going to have the following dinner.

Ahuyn got very interested in what they were talking, and she started asking questions about Thanksgiving (the questions above), the children started to tell her all about it; the history, when it is celebrated, why do people eat turkey then, and many other things.


The story is 3 pages long ( over 400 words) and it accessible for grades 1,2,3 and even 4 if we are talking about ESL learners.

After the story, I also included a small activity book with over 6 pages of Vocabulary exercises and 5 Comprehension exercises.




After finishing up those pages, the students can relax with a Thanksgiving wordsearch, and a crossword puzzle, as well as an "I am thankful for..." page, where they can share to the group some things that they are thankful for.


You can find my Thanksgiving pack here.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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