I heavily debated whether or not I would acknowledge Thanksgiving this year. Historically, I haven’t because I was too busy at this time of the year. This year I’ve read a lot of posts about whether or not we should actually celebrate it in the world language classroom. A couple of questions that stuck out to me included: (a) Should we really celebrate it when it’s celebrating the pilgrims ending the Native American way of life?; (b) When will students need to describe Thanksgiving? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but they’ve stuck with me these past couple of weeks.
After some reflecting, I decided I wanted to acknowledge Thanksgiving with Spanish 1. Last year’s Spanish 1 didn’t get as many holiday related lessons because I had a student teacher who was a little uncomfortable with stories. They didn’t get my spooky short stories that covered both ghosts and Latin legends. They also didn’t really do a holiday story in December either. As I felt they missed out, I didn’t want this year’s group to miss out as well.
I began with a MovieTalk that focused on turkeys on a farm that I will share later, but if I could re-do it all over I would start with the songs I used today! The first song was Al pavo, pavito, pavo. What I love about this song is that it only has four lines and repeats several times. I also love that there is a dance for it! Students were singing it in the hallway, others said it was like Just Dance but in Spanish, and even my grumblers got into it. Here is the song I used and here is the video with the dance. I also came across El pavo y la pava about turkeys getting married. I love the sound of this song and I think the lyrics are catchy. I also like that it will help me teach the word for nest in Spanish. Here is the video for the second song. I plan to use this song tomorrow. Students will listen to the song and then we will MovieTalk the video, too. You can find my Google Doc with lyrics and the basic listening activities I did here.
If you’re looking for more Día de Acción de Gracias activities, consider checking out my Día de Acción de Gracias Pinterest board. It’s rather sparse right now, but I will continue to add resources as I come across them. Other bloggers have already written quite a bit about Thanksgiving in the classroom. Martina Bex wrote this post about what is Best Practice in the world language classroom when it comes to Thanksgiving. The Creative Language Classroom also had this phenomenal post about about how they taught Thanksgiving in relation to Puerto Rico. Maris Hawkins also has some older posts for Thanksgiving. I particularly like her activity of having students use Thanksgiving props, take pictures, and then discuss the images.
Feel free to share any Thanksgiving resources you use in your classroom!