If you are looking for an engaging Thanksgiving activity to try with your middle school ELA class, my Thanksgiving reader’s theater script and comprehension activities are a great option. Depending on the level of your readers, this script can be used from 4th grade through 8th grade. It is a purposeful way to incorporate common core standards while also enjoying some Thanksgiving ELA fun.
The Gift of Time is an 8-page, 13-character script that tells the story of Ms. Bess’ homeroom class and how they strategize to win the Holiday Food Strive classroom contest. The class that brings in the most food items for this annual school-wide food drive, which supports the City Food Pantry, wins a special ice cream and pizza party. The problem is that Ms. Bess’ class is more focused on the party than on the importance of giving to those in need.
In addition to the fluency practice your students get with reader’s theater scripts, this resource also includes a variety of reading comprehension activities. There are reader response questions, a context clue worksheet for vocabulary, and two journal prompts you can use for writing or classroom discussions.
You can utilize these lesson plans for a whole-class activity or break your students into smaller groups and give them separate spaces within the classroom to perform concurrently. In order to make the most of the fluency opportunities, I recommend having your students read through the script at least three times.
Another great way to utilize this resource is with a substitute teacher. I include a unique script in all of my emergency sub plans because it keeps students busy and engaged while I am away from the classroom. You can have students read the script to themselves and then take volunteers to perform the story in front of the class.
If you are interested in trying this unique resource, you can download it directly through my TPT store. It is offered as a printable PDF, but it can also be assigned through Easel and Google Classroom by customizing it with some simple form fields. With the theme of giving being such an important part of the holiday season, your middle school readers can use it throughout Thanksgiving and the holidays. Perhaps they will even be inspired to launch a giving event of their own!