For most of you educators out there, the week leading up to Thanksgiving is a whirlwind. I have conferences, report cards, portfolios, and of course, our Thanksgiving Play!  However, I find the strength to crank up the energy and end this Thanksgiving season with a bang!  We started this week by learning about yet another important historical Native American, Sacagawea.  

Now, I’m sure you will hear me mention this over and over again, but we have a partnership with the J.F.K. Performing Arts Center and work hard to integrate art into our curriculum.  So … I like to always begin a Social Studies/LAL lesson with a portrait study.  My kidets have been trained in the art of studying portraits using 9 elements (facial expression, focal point, gestures, clothing, setting, objects, size, quantity and last but not least, color).  At this moment, you might be thinking….WHAT??? First graders studying portrait elements?  I kid you not my friends, my students are experts!  I begin S.S. lessons by having the students sit in a circle and in the middle of the circle I place a number of different portraits (all of the same historical figure) in front of them.  We play a pass the portrait game, where students work in pairs to study a portrait of Sacagawea and discuss the 9 elements together.  When they hear me say… “Pass The Portrait” they switch and begin the same process with a different portrait of Sacagawea.  When this game is over we come together and make a list of what we can infer about Sacagawea just by studying her portraits.  YOU WILL BE AMAZED at how much information a 6 year old can produce just through this activity alone.  For example, one of my little kidets stated, “Well, I see that her gesture in this picture is that she is pointing over the mountains and the two men with her, well their focal point is in the same direction so maybe she is showing them something really important.”  KAPOW!  Yup, that was my mind blowing! 

Click here for this freebie!

From here I read a few different stories with the students and we work on some LAL skills.  The background knowledge they bring to the following activities is heightened from these art integration lessons.  My CCSS for the activity was for the students to compare and contrast two different non-fiction texts.  Each student was able to choose their own type of graphic organizer, and my lower level students completed hands on comparing with hula-hoops.

Hope you can use this freebie in your classroom.  Happy Thanksgiving!

***Congratulations to Nancy from First Grade WOW and Kelly from First Grade Fairytales! You were the winners of our very first giveaway! We hope you enjoy the materials.  We will e-mail you the Walking in a Winter Wonderland Math Unit.***

If you would like to pick up copy of our 
Walking in a Winter Wonderland Math Unit click HERE


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