Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thank you, Sarah - Thankgiving writing unit

Have you ever read this book?

I had not until this week when I was looking for good books about Thanksgiving to create my units for next  month. I almost passed this one up, but my librarian highly recommended it, so I actually opened the book. I am ashamed to say that I was not aware of the story of Sarah Hale. As a self-proclaimed "history buff", this is especially embarrassing. She is a fascinating woman (although I have to admit she would really annoy me if she were still alive today - I'm not a huge fan of complainers overachievers).

Anyway, as I was reading the book, I felt like it lent itself PERFECTLY to a great writing assignment, and I can't wait to begin it with my 5th graders! On the last page of the book, it says "Pick up your pen. Change the world." Our students always seem to struggle with writing, and they could also benefit from some extra practice on persuasion. Why not have them learn about Sarah Hale's story AND look at the actual letter she wrote to Abraham Lincoln (who is "only" the FIFTH president she wrote a letter to asking for Thanksgiving to become a nationally recognized holiday). Then they can come up with a list of things they would like to change and write their own letters to someone important. 

So here it is. My new "baby". I guess it's a good thing when I get so excited after I create the product. It includes 2 graphic organizers, a brainstorming sheet, a link to Sarah's letter, a character word splash, sequencing page, and a letter template (that's 10 pages!). I hope you love it as much as I do!

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