Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thanksgiving in July

I'm linking up with Deanna Jump for her summer favorite reading linky.
I know-  this post seems a little odd, but as I was perusing Pinterest, I saw a pin for a book I used to use years ago when I was a counselor called Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting.  The lesson centered around being grateful for what you have, but as I started reflecting on the lesson I did as a counselor, I began to realize how wonderful this book is for speech therapy, or any classroom for that matter, especially in November around Thanksgiving.  Thus- Thanksgiving in July!
The book tells the story of a young boy who is homeless and lives in an airport with his dad trying not to be noticed so they have somewhere to stay.  It is a great story with really rich vocabulary, and provides so many opportunities for discussion with your second through fifth graders.  It allows discussion of metaphors (there is a part of the story where a bird is trapped in the airport continuously hitting the glass door keeping him in the terminal and the boy wishes nothing more than for the bird to get free-  just like he and his dad are trapped and want to be free with their own home), as well as synonyms (if you do this book at Thanksgiving and you are discussing what makes you thankful, brainstorm and list words that are similar in meaning to being thankful such as grateful, appreciative, content, pleased).

When I was counseling, I would begin the lesson by showing different types of homes on the SmartBoard before I read the book.

I asked the students after I showed each picture one at a time how many would be grateful to have a home like in the picture-  starting with the really fancy one with a pool.  As we go along, it gets a little harder to say what you could appreciate with the homes, but if you really think about it, there is always something.  (These are just quick examples-  I also include a mobile home and apartment complex, too-  easy to find with a quick Google search of home images).  For speech therapists, this would be a great way to talk about attributes (maybe even use the EET string with it).  Just label the pictures right on the SmartBoard if you have one in your therapy room-  or on the iPad using an app that allows you to write on pictures. 

I love all of the typical turkey disguising themselves so they don't get eaten books, and books about things one is grateful for like friends, family, etc.  However, this book just really opens students eyes to what is truly important and what real gratitude is making it a perfect fit for Thanksgiving.  Check your school library for this gem of a book!

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