ELL Teacher Pros November 2016 Newsletter
Thanksgiving was and is my favorite holiday. Not only did we get out of school but we got to eat turkey and cranberry sauce (two of my all-time faves)! My mom would make pumpkin, apple and pecan pies, mashed potatoes from real potatoes (she usually used powdered), sweet potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, etc. My mother’s side of the family was far away from their immigrant roots. My dad’s family, however, was not. He was first generation American and his family was from The Ukraine and very poor. As a child, he never had some of the foods we ate every Thanksgiving.
As I was thinking of my Thanksgivings I thought of my dad’s background and stories I’ve been told by other first generation folks and adult ELLs and thought about how we could validate their experiences through an exploration of the experiences immigrants have had with their first Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving in general.
The book, Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen, is directly about this experience and even older learners might enjoy having it read to them as a starter for discussion, project or unit on immigration or Thanksgiving. The book is written for upper elementary school learners and is at a third grade reading level.
For elementary level learners there are a group of free lesson suggestions at:
· Reading Comprehension Skills for English Language Learners
· Increasing ELL Student Reading Comprehension with Non-fiction Text
· Reading Comprehension Strategies for English Language Learners
A lesson plan for Thanksgiving and the Immigrant Experience
LESSON PLAN Thanksgiving 2—The Pilgrim Story and My Immigrant Story
Articles covering the immigrant experience and Thanksgiving Immigrant Experience
“Beyond Turkey: The Migration of Thanksgiving Tradition”
Seriouseats.com Cooks talk about food for Thanksgiving, from Ecuador, Turkey, Greek, Middle East, France, China, & Italy
An article on Vietnamese immigrants and their Thanksgiving experience
http://www.northjersey.com/news/modern-day-pilgrims-in-north-jersey-mark-their-first-thanksgiving-1.1462539Syria & Cuba “NorthJersey.com”
“Immigrants adapt Thanksgiving feasts with tastes from home”
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/sf-ethnic-thanksgiving-food-immigrant-families-20141124-story.html“Thanksgiving is a story of immigrants” “The First Immigrant Thanksgiving”
As an idea to help this along, I want to share the story of a co-worker whose family emigrated from Italy and a tradition her family created for Thanksgiving.
As Molly did, Marie came home from school and told her mother she had to make a Thanksgiving dinner. One of the foods was to be a stuffed turkey. Her mother did not know what the stuffing could be and, of course, Marie had no idea either. After thinking about it for a while, Marie’s mother created a rice-based stuffing which the family uses to this day.
We hope these sites contribute to a rich discussion on immigration and different cultures and tales on how immigrant families develop their own traditions for this iconic American holiday.
Have a great Thanksgiving Break!
Marnie, Denise, and Cheryl
Visit our blog at TEACHING SUCCESSES WITH ELLS
Follow us on Twitter @ell_teacherpros
Follow us on Pinterest User Name dmcyberteacher
Follow us on Facebook as ELL Teacher Pros