Read-Aloud Teacher’s Guide This Is the Feast by Diane Z. Shore Paintings by Megan Lloyd


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Read-Aloud Teacher’s Guide

This Is the


by Diane Z. Shore

Paintings by Megan Lloyd

Many myths surround the story of the First Thanksgiving. Ask the children what they know about the First Thanksgiving.

Ask them what they know about the events leading up to this historical event.

Tell the children that this book shares accurate information about the Pilgrims’ harrowing journey to the New World, their

first year as settlers, and their celebration of friendship with their neighboring Indians. Use your

voice and pauses to emphasize particular words and story events.

Begin by saying that this book is nonfiction. Ask if anyone knows what that means. Show

examples of other nonfiction books and discuss ways in which nonfiction books can be useful and interesting.

Stories are fun and playful to read with young children. However, this book is a wonderful example of a type of

nonfiction book that has elements similar to story books. Like many stories for young children, it uses rhythm and

rhyme, and richly painted illustrations rather than photographs to make it more inviting.

Point to the words as you read the book’s title. Ask children to explain what the word feast means. Sometimes a feast is a

meal with lots of food. Sometimes a feast is a time of celebration, in honor of an event or person. This book is about both

kinds of feasts.

As you read the story, incorporate these read-aloud strategies. Mark the pages where you plan to ask questions or have a discussion. Show the pictures, explain words, and ask the suggested questions in the appropriate spots.

This book is told in rhyme. Periodically pause while reading in places where the rhyme is predictable, and allow children to

insert the rhyming words.

Explain these words are you read:

A pilgrim is a person who journeys, esp. a long distance, to some sacred

place as an act of religious devotion.

Battering gales are very strong, heavy hitting winds. .

In this case the word thrashing means to move wildly or violently.

Felled means cut or knocked down.

A hearth is the floor of a fireplace, but it can also mean fireside.

In this case the word toll means the loss and suffering resulting

from some misfortune or disaster.

A plague is a widespread disease that causes many deaths.

Nuggets are small, solid lumps.

Weary means tired.

A nestling is a young bird not old enough to leave the nest.

A herring is a small fish.

A shallop is a boat (usually rowed) used in shallow waters.

Bountiful means plentiful or lots of.

Sheaves (pl. of sheaf) are bundles or clusters.

Tassels are the small strands growing from the ears of corn.

Pride in this case means pleasure.

A plank is a flat, long piece of wood.

Plodding means slow moving.

Conduct a brief discussion using some of these suggestions:

Ask children if what they knew about the First Thanksgiving was


The journey on the Mayflower and the Pilgrims’ first year in a new land

was an emotional time filled with many new experiences. Ask children

to recall some of the events in the book which described the Pilgrims as

sad, frightened, joyful, weary, etc. How would you feel if you left your

hometown knowing that you would likely never see your friends again?

Ask children if they know what a tradition is. (A tradition is a handing

down of beliefs, customs, etc. from generation to generation. ) Ask the

children to share their own Thanksgiving traditions. How is their

Thanksgiving today similar to or different from the First

Thanksgiving? What are they thankful for?

You’ll find a wealth of resources and tools for teachers, including, workshops, guides, and lesson plans for grades 1-6 at:

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