Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Fun in First Grade: Stone Soup

All week we've been reading different versions of Stone Soup.

Stone Soup Marcia BrownStone Soup Marilyn SStone Soup Jon Muth And we read some stories that were similar, but with some interesting cultural variations...

Cactus Soup


Bone Button Borscht


We made a chart (and I forgot to take a picture!) to compare some details in the story, and we've been talking about the way that characters in the story were tricked into working together, being helpful, and contributing to the well-being of others. We discussed what the villagers in each story might do next time they are faced with strangers coming to town and why they might react differently.

And today, we made our own stone soup.

Each child brought a vegetable to contribute. We had potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, sweet potatoes, green beans, mushrooms,  Korean sweet potatoes, garlic, tiny cherry tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, and perhaps another vegetable or two that I can't remember in my "isn't Thanksgiving here YET?" state. My fabulous room mother organized several parents to help, and they appeared at the classroom door with their cutting boards, knives, peelers, bowls, and two crockpots! The students cleared their book boxes off their desks, washed their hands and got started! And let me tell you--- all those little choppers were adorable! They peeled, they chopped, they chatted! So cute. They worked for nearly half an hour. And when they were done, we piled all the vegetables into the crockpots.


And then came one of the most darling moments of the whole week!

One student was looking at the pile of vegetables, pointing, and talking to a classmate.

"See those carrots right there? I did those. And that piece of potato right there? Aidan cut that one. And Bryan cut that piece of celery right there, but he didn't do those other pieces over there."


I was nearly rolling on the floor with laughter! There were 25 students in my room today (3 absent!) and everyone chopped a little of nearly everything. I just love the way my babes took ownership of the project!

Those fabulous parent helpers took the crock pots home to "babysit" them overnight. They'll add the broth, some salt and pepper, and maybe a sprinkle of herbs. I sent them with butter to add to the soup, too, because I think it was Julia Child who said that the difference between a good soup and a great soup is a tablespoon of butter. And the soup will cook for hours. Tomorrow morning, we'll plug in the pots, heat up the soup and eat lunch in the classroom. It's going to be great! (Families contributed rolls and juice, too.)

And as far as other Thanksgiving activities this week...

We've been reading books about real turkeys. And we created this chart to show our learning. I had a little lightbulb moment and decided to hang the chart outside my classroom so parents could see it at pick-up time. I think I'll start doing that more often!


One parent commented that unlike our Spider Unit, this chart didn't contain any misconceptions! We had noticed that in class, too, and one of my first graders hypothesized that it was related to the fact that we didn't really know much about turkeys to start with! Could be!

We also made some cute turkeys with coffee filters. I pulled out the liquid watercolor paint that I love because of the intense colors. I also let students use the metallic gold liquid watercolor, which had a nice effect... a little like the iridescence of real turkey feathers. Of course after that, we got all silly with googly eyes, so the connection to real turkeys pretty much stopped there! Haha!


And so I leave you with my favorite Facebook quote from last week!


I'm feeling pretty thankful for my awesome students, their awesome parents, my awesome colleagues, my awesome husband and awesome kids, and the awesome FOUR DAY WEEKEND that will be mine in less than nineteen hours!

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