illuminated gratitude quote on board
3-12, Creative Thinking, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Writing

Gratitude Zines

Since this is the month of American Thanksgiving, November classroom activities often revolve around gratitude in the States. Austin Kleon, a Texan author famous for his Blackout Poetry among other things, has the perfect free download for you. He is a proponent of all things creative, and “zines” are excellent gateways to encourage imaginative writing and illustrations. If you have not run into “zines” before, here is a quick introduction from the University of Illinois, who basically describes a “zine” as “a small-scale, self-published publication, similar to a magazine, which can focus on a variety of topics.” Kleon has a page of examples and free downloads here.

I learned about Kleon’s Gratitude Zine on Twitter from Maria Galanis (@mariagalanis), when she shared a video tutorial of how to make the printed page into the tiny book.

You can get the free download by going to Kleon’s newsletter. (I highly recommend subscribing when the popup displays, but you don’t have to.)

Click here to go to the free download on Austin Kleon’s newsletter.

I’ll be adding this idea to my November collection of resources. If you are looking for some more creative and critical thinking activities related to the season, here is another post of free ideas.

white scrabble tiles on the wooden table
K-12, Teaching Tools

November Celebrations!

Once teachers make it through Halloween, notable dates in November quickly dominate the calendar. Though many of the ones I’ve curated are United States-centered, there are a couple of global celebrations sprinkled in the eleventh month of the year as well. We kick it off with Dia de Los Muertos on November 1st and how can you not deck your halls for Fibonacci Day on 11/23? The entire month is Native American Heritage Month in the States. Then we’ve got Election Day and Veteran’s Day in quick succession, followed by Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November.

Of course I’ve curated as many free resources as I can in this November/Thanksgiving Wakelet. The Election Day and Native American Heritage Month Wakelets are brand new collections I’ve curated this week (you can find links to these above as well as in the November Wakelet), and I’ve begun to add a new “feature” by giving approximate grade levels in the titles of each resource. Note that these are super flexible, but at least you can guess that if you teach Pre-K, it’s probably going to be a waste of time to click on a resource that says, “Grades 9-12.”

Happy Last Day of October! I hope you’ve had a good month and you are looking forward to a fabulous November!

Click here to access the November/Thanksgiving Wakelet!
red and orange autumn leaves on the ground and on trees beside body of water
K-12, Teaching Tools, Websites

November Activities For You!

Thank goodness for my blog stats that show me when people are beginning to look for resources for the following month! Otherwise, I probably would be giving you Thanksgiving links the day before the big feast, which would obviously be too late. I know the November Thanksgiving holiday is only in the United States, so I also included a world-wide holiday in this year’s collection — Fibonacci Day, which is on 11/23. Donna Lasher’s excellent holiday page reminded me of that notable event, and I think that this is probably the first year that I’ve ever thought about it in advance. (Thanks, Donna!) She has a great list of fabulous activities for Fibonacci Day here, and I also included it in my Thanksgiving/November Wakelet. For this Wakelet, I used the new column layout, which will hopefully make it easier to find resources.

Now, of course there is another American celebration in the United States in November, Veterans Day on 11/11. Here is my Wakelet for that.

Some holidays during November that are celebrated in many countries are: Dia de Los Muertos, Diwali (November 4th, 2021), and Hanukkah (November 28th, 2021).

I hope to add more to all of these collections, so please let me know if you have a quality free resource/link to contribute! And if you want to see the Wakelet collections that I have so far, you can go here.

dirt road cover by dried leaves
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Uncategorized

Thankful

I’ve noticed an increase in views on some of my Thanksgiving posts, so I thought I better comb through them to make sure the links were still active. As I did this, I decided to add the links to a new Wakelet list. Then I decided I should look for new resources for this year. The result is a list of 47 items – so far. (And this, my friends, is how a post that was supposed take 30-45 minutes to write instead became a 3-hour task.) Everything on the list is free. Some of the highlights are: Thanksgiving Digital Escape Room, Balloons Over Broadway STEM Activities, a Thanksgiving Hyperdoc, several Thanksgiving themed puzzles (including Sudoku), and many Google Slides templates.

Over the years, I have to say that one of my favorite Thanksgiving activities has been to use these writing prompts from Minds in Bloom for brainstorming. You can see some results here from when I asked students to think about what teachers might be thankful for. (I’m sure the responses would be quite different today!) I enjoyed putting a twist on the question, “What are you thankful for?” by placing constraints or looking at it from another perspective.

Though we may need to look at our American Thanksgiving from some different perspectives in order to better understand the complex relationship between the natives of this land and the Europeans, I think that we can all agree that gratitude is an important reason for celebration.

Image by hudsoncrafted from Pixabay
6-12, Education, Games, Language Arts, Social Studies

Student Crosswords from the NY Times

Did you know that the New York Times has an archive of student crosswords listed by subjects on this page?  From American History to Technology, you can find puzzles created by Frank Longo as well as the answers and suggested curriculum links.  I found this link when I discovered this page that provides a printable crossword puzzle on how people say thank you around the world.  A couple of other timely suggestions are, “Thanksgiving,” “Giving,” and “Holidays Around the World.”  These seem to be targeted at the teenage age range, though some upper elementary and middle school students can probably work on them in groups, given the proper resources.

crosswordpuzzle.png
image from Pixabay

Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, K-12, Teaching Tools

17 Free Printables for Thanksgiving

UPDATE 11/2/2020: Here is a link to over 45 Thanksgiving activities you can use in your classroom.

To justify the hours that I spend looking for “just right” activities for my gifted students, I try to share as much as I can on this blog.  Yesterday I hunted for critical and creative thinking activities with a Thanksgiving theme, and found quite a few that you can print for free.

From Minds in Bloom (Rachel Lynette) on Teachers Pay Teachers:

From various other authors on Teacher Pay Teachers:

From other sources:

Some of my past Thanksgiving posts:

thanksgiving-dinner-illustration.jpg
image from PublicDomain.net