‘Twas the Night before Thanksgiving

November 12, 2008

Dav Pilkey authored a fun text, ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving,  that will delight any aged audience.  Based on the poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Dav Pilkey ventures to imagine what children would be thinking prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.  Mmm, delicious turkey meat maybe?  This field trip adventure changes the minds of the children after becoming friends with the turkeys.  When someone finds Farmer Nuggett’s ax, “they clamored aloud in a chorus of cries.” His poetic story ends with the children saving the day.

Side note:  I wonder where Dav Pilkey came up with the turkey names.  Past TV characters?  “Now Ollie, now Stanley, now Larry and Moe, On Wally, on Beaver, on Shemp and Groucho!”

Savorings for reading and in writing for ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving:

  • Hyphenated word – new-falled leaves
  • Use this text to examine the complexity of word usage between verbs, nouns, and adjectives:
  • Verbs – whistled, gobbled
  • Nouns – terrains, cockerels, clatter
  • Colon – in a list
  • Rhyming
  • Ending – allows the children to think of what they might be thankful for:  “So each one gave thanks for love and for living...”

A Plump Turkey

November 12, 2008

Teresa Bateman writes a cute poetic narrative about a community, who’s turkeys seem to disappear during the fall season in A Plump and Perky Turkey.  Jeff Shelly illustrates creative pictures, personifying the turkey as they sneak away.  Kids will find it funny.  The towns people of Squawk Valley are dismayed, and the idea of having an “arts-and-craft fair” featuring turkey art sparks the town.  They advertise in the forest asking for a turkey to be a model.

The turkey, Pete, becomes the center of attention.  It’s curious that the townspeople can only think of a turkey for its feast.  Jeff Shelly illustrates a pig throughout the story as an equally-concerned citizen.  I find that rather odd, considering ham can be an alternate meat at Thanksgiving.  The pig is just as happy about the prospect of turkey.  I think the illustrations themselves would create a curious conversation with your students.

Savorings for reading and in writing for A Plump and Perky Turkey:

  • Feelings – “downhearted and depressed
  • Vocabulary:  clever – “no turkey to be found.”  If you are introducing the word “clever”, this book explains the vocabulary word thoroughly.
  • Think Bubbles – “We’ll fill our fair with folks and fun and tons of turkey art.”
  • Alliteration – “plump, perky, pines
  • Past Tense Verbs – strutted, startled, intrigued, cheered, disappeared

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