Classroom Book Activity – Arthur’s Thanksgiving

classroom book activity

Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown

Story Summary:

It’s time for Thanksgiving! Arthur has been picked to be the director and cast the roles of his school play. All his friends want to be the star of the show, but no one wants to be the Turkey!

Recommended Ages: Grades 1 – 2

Activity 1

  • Gather the class on the rug and read the story Arthur’s Thanksgiving, by Marc Brown.
  • After reading, explain to the class that they will be doing an activity where they have to write about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  • Have the students “turn and talk” to discuss each of the story parts with a friend sitting next to them.
  • Send the students back to their seats and pass out large white construction paper.
  • Have the students fold the paper in thirds. Model this for the students. Then model how to put the headings beginning, middle, and end on the top of each section. Now the students are ready to write about what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of Arthur’s Thanksgiving.
  • Students can also draw a picture in each section to go along with what they wrote.


Activity 2

  • This next activity can be done in a reading group or as a center. Students will be doing a Vocabulary Matching activity.
  • Using a pocket chart, put up seven vocabulary words written on index cards from Arthur’s Thanksgiving. (ex. script, director, auditorium, narrator, role, assign, performance)
  • Have the definition of each word written out on sentence strips.
  • The students have to match the vocabulary word with the definition, placing the sentence strip in the pocket chart next to the right word.
  • Students can look back in the book to see how the word is used in the sentence to help figure out the definition.


Activity 3

  • To extend Activity 2, after the students have matched the vocabulary words with the definitions, students can then put the vocabulary words in ABC order.
  • Using the pocket chart again, take out the definitions and have the students place the word cards in ABC order.
  • Remind them to pay close attention to the two words that start with a. Which words goes first?


Activity 4

  • To finish up the activities about Arthur’s Thanksgiving, students will design a new cover for the book.
  • Have students share some ideas for their new book covers and write the ideas on chart paper.
  • Pass out white drawing paper and crayons for the students to design their covers.
  • After the new covers are completed, gather the class together on the rug and have students share and explain how they designed their new covers.


Guest Blogger: Melinda Brown, Reading Recovery Teacher at East Lyme Public

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