This cute rhythmic picture book was written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey, who is best known for his series of Captain Underpants books.
Your elementary school students will giggle as they listen to you read this funny Thanksgiving story that is a parody of the classic Christmas tale Twas the Night Before Christmas. Most children are familiar with Clement Morre's famous Christmas story, Twas the Night Before Christmas, about Santa Claus and his eight reindeer on Christmas Eve.
Dav Pilkey twists his story into a delightful tale of eight boys and girls that take a field trip to a turkey farm where they meet Farmer Mack Nugget and his eight turkeys on the day before Thanksgiving.
The boys and girls are having a wonderful time on their field trip until they find out what is going to happen to Farmer Nugget's 8 turkeys. When the children learn about the fate of the turkeys, they devise a plan to save Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, and Groucho. In a clever and humorous ending, the children stuff their feathered friends under their shirts and head for home filled with "hot turkey stuffing".
Kids and adults will enjoy the word-play and humorous illustrations in Dav Pilkey's wacky Thanksgiving tale that has become one of the most popular Thanksgiving books of all time.
Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving was rejected 23 times before it was accepted by Orchard Books, which is a good lesson on never giving up on your dreams. At one point, Dav Pilkey was so discouraged by all of the rejection letters he received, he almost quit writing children's books altogether. Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving has become the third largest selling picture book in Orchard Books' history.
In addition to the detailed lesson plans that you will find later on this page, below is a short list of some other Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving activities that you may want to include in your lesson plans:
Below you will find the Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving lesson plans that I created for this delightful Thanksgiving read aloud book. I hope that your students gobble up completing the fun turkey project that I have created specifically for this book.
You can purchase a copy of
Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
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Your students will gobble up completing this fun book report project that requires them to write about Farmer Mack Nuggett and the problem and solution of the story. For a grammar activity, students find rhyming word pairs, colorful adjectives, and vivid verbs in Dav Pilkey's story.
This uniquely shaped book report project contains 2 worksheet templates (shown above) that assemble into the shape of a turkey.
This set of Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving teaching resources includes the following:
A book report grading rubric is included in this set of teaching resources. I believe that it is important for students to evaluate their own work, so my grading rubric contains an assessment section for both students and teachers.
When students evaluate their book report projects, they color in the faces on their grading rubric worksheets. When a teacher evaluates the projects, the teacher circles the small numbers inside each box on the printable worksheets.
Below are examples of the directions worksheet and the grading rubric that are included in this set of teaching resources.
I believe that the writing process is important and that teachers should use process writing whenever possible. For this reason, my students never begin their projects by writing on their final draft turkey templates, instead they write on first draft worksheets.
Next, my students edit and revise their written work on their own, with a partner, or in individual writing conferences with me.
This set of teaching resources contains two printable worksheets for students to write their first drafts on. The writing line spaces on these first draft worksheets matches the spaces allotted on the final draft turkey templates.
On the first worksheet, students write down the rhyming words, adjectives, and verbs that they hear in the story. I chose a bus shape for this first draft worksheet because the students ride on a bus to and from the farm.
On the second worksheet, students write a character description for Farmer Mack Nuggett, and the problem and solution. I chose a barn shape for this worksheet because the students visit a farm on their field trip.
Students use the information that they have written on their first draft bus and barn worksheets to complete the writing sections in their final draft turkey templates.
This set of teaching resources includes 2 worksheet templates that are cut out and then glued together to form a turkey.
When I am first introducing my students to a new project, I believe that it is important for them to have a visual example of what the completed project will look like.
To save you time in coloring your example that you show to your students, I have included color turkey templates in this set of teaching resources. I display my assembled example at the front of the classroom so that students can refer to it as they are completing their own projects.
I know that it takes teachers a lot of time to design and assemble their classroom and hallway bulletin board displays.
Many teachers spend their valuable time cutting out large display letters or making a banner at home on their own computers.
In order to help save you time in assembling a bulletin board display featuring your students' Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving projects, I have designed a 5 page banner that is included for free in this set of teaching resources.
Below: Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving Book Report Project Banner
(5 printable worksheets that are glued together to form a bulletin board display banner.)
Thank you for visiting my
Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving Lesson Plans by Dav Pilkey page.
Please be sure to check out the other pages on Unique
Teaching Resources for a large variety of fun lesson plan activities
that will engage your students in learning and save you valuable time.
Sincerely, Heidi McDonald
Creator and Site Manager
Unique Teaching Resources
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Your lesson plans for Stellaluna, Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas have saved me so much planning time this year. My Gr. 3 students really enjoyed completing the projects that you designed for each of these books. I was able to create great Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas displays in my classroom this year with their projects. Thanks for sharing your ideas and for saving me time.
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