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Flipping for Fall with the The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

While it may only be the beginning of October, I'm ready to talk turkey with this month's fall blog hop. When I think of books for fall, I think of one of my favorite mentor texts. Not only is this a nonfiction book about Thanksgiving, but one with an entertaining twist thanks to clever illustrations!

Each post in our blog hop will feature a fall-themed mentor text. You'll find ideas and a free printable for using the mentor text to teach a specific skill. As you turkey trot through the hop, you will collect a special word from each post. When you reach the end, you will use these words to enter a raffle. If you want to keep track of each Mystery Word, here is a cute organizer you can print to take notes on as you follow the hop.

Two lucky people (one for the primary path and one for the upper elementary path) will win all the books from our posts!

This is not an ad for Under Armour...but I do spy a turkey!

Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson, is the story of how Thanksgiving almost wasn’t a holiday. Sarah Hale lobbied to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She used the power of the pen and a lot of persistence to get her message to several presidents. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln finally agreed! Much to the White House turkey's dismay, the 4th Thursday of November became a national holiday.

This mentor text can be used in so many ways with your students in all elementary grade levels. Personally, I love using this mentor text to generate conversations with my young readers about genre, author's purpose, and mindset.

As I begin my read aloud, I want to engage my students with the facts and rich vocabulary throughout.  I usually stop early on to question students regarding the genre and ask for text evidence to support their ideas.  I also stop at times to work with them on understanding new words like campaign, dainty, or persistence.  The illustrations and opportunities for historical noticings keep their attention and conversations focused as we read together.

Students often have misconceptions about author's purpose and base their ideas from illustrations and pictures alone. This text is a wonderful way to show that informational reading can also be entertaining!

In the past, I used the catchy PIE acronym to explain an author may write to Persuade, Inform, or Entertain. Deb Hanson from Crafting Connections has a great post about taking author's purpose a step further to teach PIE'ED, which includes Explain and Describe. The lovely Amy Lemmons from Step into Second Grade has several pin-worthy anchor charts she uses to introduce author's purpose with her primary students. 

But author's purpose is just one way to use this awesome mentor text. If you're looking for more reflection and comprehension, here is a great reading group guide from the publisher!

I've created a Forever Freebie that will supplement your lessons with this mentor text. I created a character wheel using descriptions of Sarah Hale.   Interactive journals play a big role in my planning and instruction, and I wanted to create a tool that students could use related to mindset and perseverance. Sarah is described in the text as strong, brave, stubborn, and smart.  Your students can use this wheel to share details from the book or create pictures to demonstrate why this is true . This is a great way to work with your learners on supporting their thoughts with information from the text! 

While you were reading did you catch my mystery word?  If not, it is turkey 

I'm so glad you hopped over today! Now it's time to grab another cup of pumpkin spiced latte and hop to the next stop with Cathy from The W.I.S.E. Owl ! Thank you!



  1. Thanks so much for joining in on the hop. This is a new book to me, and I love the activity idea you had. I will try to get over and download/rate the freebie tomorrow.

    1. Thank you for hosting and having me! I adore this book and I'm glad to hear it is new to some readers! I hope you enjoy :)

  2. I've never heard of this text either but it looks really interesting and your ideas are great!

    Literacy Spark

    1. Thank you Jessica! I enjoyed sharing in this great hop! Thanks for stopping by!