**Keep reading… This is MORE than a Thanksgiving Post! This is a post with an engaging strategy that your students can use in ANY subject area ANY time of the year! :)**
Each year just before Thanksgiving break, I like to read the book The First Thanksgiving and afterward discuss summarizing with students.
We discuss the main events that led up to the first Thanksgiving and together create fingerprint storyboards. We use our fingerprints on an ink pad (although in the past I have found that simply coloring on our fingers with a marker and immediately applying it worked well, too!) to create the bodies of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. We then add a bit of color and some dialogue boxes (though next year I may just do a quick caption underneath the pictures instead). Here is what it looks like–
It is a fun activity that the students always enjoy, and it makes for a beautiful craft. But, it doesn’t have to stop there. It can be used for other subject areas, as well. For instance, we used it in social studies when we were discussing World War I. This image below is a great example of how we used the fingerprints in a comic strip-like storyboard to tell about World War I. We provided captions along the bottom and the dates along the top, along with dialogue and identification of who was speaking (the hats).
The activity was engaging, and it really helped the students remember the events because we used it in a storyboard form. They enjoyed the “art” of it and the symbolism.
In case you are not familiar with a storyboard, it is simply a sheet with boxes that are labeled. If it is fiction, then it looks something like this:
Or, depending on what specific terms you use in Reading:
If it is nonfiction, then it often looks like this:
As I mentioned before, I like to sometimes teach my social studies in a “reading” format, so sometimes I will use the above fiction storyboards even though social studies is not fiction. Sounds strange, I know. 🙂
I have these storyboards free (click on the highlighted words) for you if you’d like them! They are nothing special, but hey, it keeps you from having to make them, and it saves you some time! (The free download is via Google Drive. You do not need access to get it. If it is telling you that you need access, then please try a different computer. Some school servers do not allow it and, therefore, it requests permission.)
I hope you give this activity a try. Your students are sure to love it and they will definitely remember the content.
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