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Students make a bulletin board picture quilt of “thankful for” things here after creating a graphic organizer and hearing Thanksgiving poems


Social Studies  


2, 3  

Title – Thanksgiving – Wants and Needs
By – Lindsey Ray
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 2-3
Duration – 15-20 minutes




    15 – 20 minutes


  • Students will discuss Thanksgiving and things that we should be thankful for. The things that we are thankful for will be categorized into two columns: wants and needs.
  • Students will behave in an appropriate manner so that learning can take place.
  • Students will listen while poems from Thanksgiving Day at Our House are being read aloud.
  • Students will discuss, during whole group instruction, things they are thankful for and we will write in our Kidspiration graphic organizer.
  • Students will create a piece of the quilt that will be displayed on the bulletin board by choosing something they are thankful for and drawing a picture to go alone with their idea.

Michigan State Content Objective:

  • L.CN.02.03 listen to or view knowledgeably while demonstrating appropriate social skills of audience behaviors (e.g., eye contact, attentive, supportive) in small and large group settings; listen to the comments of peers and respond on topic adding a connected idea.
  • H2.0.7 Identify the events or people celebrated during United States national holidays and why
    we celebrate them (e.g., Independence Day, Constitution Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day;
    Presidents’ Day).

Learning Resources and Materials:

  • Kidspiration Thanksgiving graphic organizer
  • Thanksgiving Day at Our House
  • Bulletin board to display students quilt work
  • Colored paper that has been made to look like pieces of a quilt
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • White board

Development of Lesson:

  • Begin by asking students to “Give me Five” in order to get their attention. (Students know when this is asked of them that they are to have their eyes on the teacher and follow the directions given.)
  • Ask students to meet you “over at the blue carpet” to discuss the holiday that is coming up and different things we should be thankful for.


  • The best practice used for the majority of this lesson is whole group instruction. Students will work on their piece of the quilt individually at the end of the lesson, so it can be displayed in the classroom.
  • Learning will be visual, oral, and kinesthetically for different levels and kinds of learners in the class.
    • Learning will be facilitated orally through whole group instruction
    • Learning will be facilitated visually through the use of the book Thanksgiving Day at Our House and through the use of our Kidspiration graphic organizer
    • Learning will be facilitated kinesthetically through the writing and coloring students are required to do to complete their piece of the quilt.
  • Questions to guide through the lesson will include:
    • What does it mean to be thankful?
    • What different kinds of wants and needs are you thankful for?
    • Why should we be thankful for these things?
  • The sequential activities for the lesson are as follows:
    1. Ask students to “give me five” so you can call them over to the blue carpet.
    2. Ask students “What holiday do we celebrate in November?”
    3. Guide students to think about different things they are thankful for.
    4. Read different poems from Thanksgiving Day at Our House and talk about the different things in the book that people said they were thankful for.
    5. Discuss different wants and needs that we should be thankful for and encourage and guide students to give you several different kinds of answers while writing these responses on the graphic organizer.
    6. Once students have several different ideas listed on what they are thankful for, talk about why we should be thankful for them. Also, discuss how things that we have put in the “want” category are not things that we have to have to live.
    7. Finally, I will explain to the students that we will be making a classroom quilt about why we are thankful. Students will be directed to take a piece of the quilt, list one or two ideas about why they are thankful and then color a picture to go along with their idea.
    8. Once students are done with their piece of the quilt, they will turn them in for display on the bulletin board in the classroom.


  • Follow the students IEP’s to differentiate instruction according to students’ needs.
  • For children that have a hard time seeing or hearing, make sure they are at the front of the class, so they do not have to strain to see or hear and can remain attentive.
  • Students at several different levels in their learning can receive help from a fellow student who is able to answer the question. This lesson will be taught orally, visually, and kinesthetically so all students will be able to learn.
  • In order to avoid students becoming upset when too many directions are given, create the pieces of quilt yourself and have the students’ only fill in what exactly they are thankful for. This avoids them getting upset about their handwriting not being as nice as one of their classmates when their work is displayed on a bulletin board.
  • Give the lesson early in the day so students have an easier time concentrating, and staying attentive and on-task. Later in the day, they may be over-stimulated and very hyperactive, making it hard for them to focus.


  • Assessment is ongoing and should continue throughout the lesson.
  • Assess students orally and through writing.
  • Assess student understanding by their ability to respond to questions during whole group instruction and through their ability to complete their piece of the quilt about why they are thankful.
  • Circulate around the room throughout the part of the lesson where students are working individually and assisting those who need more individualized attention.


  • The lesson will end after students complete their piece of the quilt.
  • Before sending them back to their desk to work on it, tell them that “we will be referring back to our quilt throughout this week and next, as we continue to talk about the pilgrims and Thanksgiving,” so they know that this is meaningful work and they should do the best they possibly can on it.

E-Mail Lindsey Ray !

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