Hello, everyone! I'm back! I am done with all my conferences and am ready to tackle doing some posts again. Thanks so much for all your kind and supportive comments and emails. I truly do appreciate them. I try my best to answer your questions, but if I haven't answered you and it's been a while, please write again and I'll try harder!
Today I am writing about a story retelling project we did in class today. I have been reading the book The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern and Elroy Freem in sections over the past few weeks. It's one of the best books I've found for young children about the first Thanksgiving. You can purchase your own copy here. It's a must-have for every family, in my opinion. After hearing and discussing this book, my preschoolers have a pretty good understanding of the sequence of events.
As a culminating activity I decided to have the children make story retelling bracelets. I can't remember where I first read about this idea.......it was definitely on another teacher's blog. I did it with my kindergarten and first graders a few years ago when I taught in public school. Anyway.....today we did this activity as a whole group in my Montessori preschool classroom. I had thought about setting it up as an individual activity but decided that the children would gain more from it if we did it as a group. As we sat on our line my assistant passed out a brown pipe cleaner to each child. Ahead of time we had bent one end up about an inch so the beads wouldn't fall off. I had also placed the various colors of beads into large cups ahead of time. I explained to the children that they were going to make bracelets to help them go home and tell the story of the first Thanksgiving to their families. Using the book I went through the sequence of events and explained the purpose of each bead. After we discussed each part I passed the appropriate cup of beads around the circle and each child took their bead(s) and placed them onto their pipe cleaner. When everyone had all their beads sequenced in order my assistant and I went around and formed them into bracelets.
Each child took home the note shown below to help their parents understand what we did. If you are interested you may download a copy of the note here.