Classroom Calendar Connections – November 2020


The Presidential Election, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving

It has been quite a year, and November is another eventful month. November 3 is the big day – the 2020 presidential election. Chances are, talk about the election and the candidates has spilled into your classroom. Below are some resources to help provide structure and guidance with engaging your students in election conversations. Not to be overshadowed, I’ve also included resources to commemorate and celebrate Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving this month.

Elementary-Level Election Resources
Although the majority of students are too young to vote, they’re not too young to learn about the upcoming election and the overall election process. My 3-year old and 5-year old sons usually accompany me to the polls and they love the election-related books that I read to them including: Curious George Votes by Margaret and H.A. Rey, 1 Vote, 2 Votes, I Vote, You Vote by Bonny Worth and The President of the Jungle by Andre Rodrigues, Larissa Riberio, Paula Desgualdo, and Pedro Markun.


Scholastic offers free lesson plans and discussion guides based on the popular children’s books: Duck for President by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin (grades K-2) and The Class Election from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler (grades 3-5).

Give students the opportunity to research and write about past presidents who they are interested in learning more about. This outline will guide students with writing a 5-paragraph essay.


Middle and High School-Level Election Resources
C-Span Classroom has free video-based lessons and resources concentrated on the election (as well as a variety of other topics about the components of our federal government).  Check out this electoral college virtual scavenger hunt (ideal for online learning and an engaging way to learn how the electoral college works). 

From the history of presidential elections in the United States to current controversies about voting rights, PBS provides a vast collection of election videos, activities, and lesson plans designed for middle and high school students.

Finally, since Thanksgiving is approaching, have students find out how much they know about having (or avoiding) conversations about politics around the dinner table with this election year etiquette quiz.


Veteran’s Day Resources – November 11

Hot off the press, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Veteran’s Day National Committee created this Teachers Resource Guide in honor of the 18 million veterans living in the United States. This resource includes information on everything from organizing a schoolwide Veteran’s Day assembly to activities to be implemented in the classroom. 

Scholastic also provides lesson plans and activities to commemorate Veteran’s Day and to learn about patriotism and American symbols. Also, this Read Write Think lesson plan guides students with writing biographical poems about soldiers.


Thanksgiving Resources – November 26

If you and your students still haven’t had your fill of politics, be sure to watch the annual White House tradition of the official pardoning of the National Thanksgiving Turkey. Perhaps students will be inspired to rethink the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Put them to work on writing a persuasive essay about not serving turkey for dinner this year. Every year I had my students write letters to a farmer from the perspective of a turkey - you can access my guided writing activity here.

From the classic handprint turkey art project for young students to a Thanksgiving story dictogloss activity for older students and gratitude jars for everyone, this Pearson article outlines engaging activities to celebrate Thanksgiving in the classroom across grade levels.

Looking for more classroom ideas? Head to our blog archives to read my post from November 2019. Finally, we would love to hear from you! What are some of your own classroom calendar connections for November? 


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Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin. 

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