November in the upper elementary classroom is typically a time of learning and practicing reading skills, plus some fun and engaging themes. Today, I wanted to share with you some of the typical things I do and cover in the month of November!
I love a good read aloud and November is no different! With a good read-aloud, you can really teach students many different reading and writing skills and how to enjoy reading!
I always read the following books in November. (pictures will take you to an affiliate link)
Turk and Runt: This is for SURE my favorite! This book is about turkeys on a farm who are getting picked, but it requires a lot of inferencing for the reader.
The Great Turkey Race: This is a fun story about turkey’s trying to escape. You can do STEM with this one too where students can make a turkey escape plan of their own.
Grace for President: This is the PERFECT Election Day read!
A Plump and Perky Turkey: This is a cute story about a family looking for a turkey for Thanksgiving, but the turkey ends up outsmarting them.
Balloons Over Broadway: This is an adorable book about the beginning of the Macy’s Day parade. You can read about balloons and how the parade came to be! My kids love any book where they can learn new facts!
Thanksgiving Feast Reading Challenge
My students need to practice all the reading skills that they have learned so far and I need to see who still needs help in certain areas! That is where the Thanksgiving Feast Challenge comes in!
The students will complete six different reading challenges, each one earning them a food item. You can do this with real food and have a classroom feast or do it by just having them earn a paper food to add to their table. Surprisingly, both are equally engaging and enjoyable to the students.
The challenges are SUPER rigorous and honestly students don’t even notice at the end how much they read and analyzed text.
November is a GREAT time to teach persuasive writing to kids! I like to read one of the books above about a turkey escaping. Then, we do a persuasive writing in the point of view of a turkey (requiring them to think about the point of view, too).
They have to write a persuasive essay about why they should not get eaten. This is HILARIOUS and so much fun for the kids, but it also requires a lot of different strategies for writing!
In November, you will see me really focusing on teaching text evidence.
During November will be my text evidence skill week. This means I will spend an entire week teaching the students what text evidence is and how to use it. I will do whole and small group lessons on the subject.
>>>Everything I do is here<<< (You can read the description to find easy activities to do!)
I will also do a daily paragraph to focus on practicing the skills that the students need to master before testing. Each day I use the paragraph differently. We might do them independently, as a whole group, with a partner, in small groups, or for a reward! It depends on what the skill is and how I want them to practice!
I think during this month it is a great time to talk to children about WHY we should show our thanks to others. It also is a great time for students to really focus on gratitude and how to show it in their everyday lives. One way I really bring up this conversation and this teaching point is through thankful letters.
Each Friday in the month of November we write a letter to a different person. One Friday we write to a family member, then to someone who works in our school (janitor, lunch monitor, etc.), one to a different friend in the classroom, and finally to a person of their choice.
They write these letters and put them in an envelope to deliver them. I allow them to practice writing an address each week (if they know it, otherwise we practice with making one up), letter writing, and all the other writing skills! It is great and my FAVORITE!
Do you want my letter format for free?!
Pumpkin Pie in a Cup
Can you really go the entire month without making one recipe? I love doing recipes in the classroom because they require so many different reading and comprehension skills. We make it to go along with our feast challenge!
Do you have any other fun November activities? You can share them in the comment section below!