The New York Times, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2013New York Today: Feeding Stomachs and SoulsBy Annie CorrealSummary:During Thanksgiving, New York’s food pantries and soup kitchens do the same thing they do all year…only at this time of year, it’s for a “crush” of people. One mission, the Bowery Mission, fed Thanksgiving dinners all week. On Thanksgiving Day, they dished out 7,000 meals. Here’s the process: the mission procures and cooks the food, volunteers serve the food, and “V.I.P.s” (like Katie Couric) pull meat off turkeys! Hannah Vanbiber, who helps manage the banquet, said, “You know what’s beautiful? To see people go through the big red doors and know once they’re inside, they’re going to get fed. They come in here and they’re treated as someone valuable.”Connections to Social Studies:Time Continuity and Change-The New York food pantries and soup kitchens feed people all year. As students learn about this process, they recognize the values of society and the beliefs of the people who participate in this process. They also learn about the context in which it takes place (i.e. the needs of people who partake of the meals). As students learn about what has occurred in the past, they can evaluate what might be needed/desired in the future. They can also analyze and discuss what the causes and consequences of hunger are.Individuals, Groups, and Institutions-The influence charitable groups, like missions, have on individuals and culture is important for students to understand. Students can analyze how the institutions operate and determine whether or not they are beneficial to society and whether or not they are something with which they (the students) would like to participate. Weekly Question/Theme:Locate and blog about the national coverage of holiday traditions. How could you incorporate this into a social studies lesson? Cite core standards, objectives, and indicators.Students in the third and fourth grade learn to understand the roles they will play in civic life, particularly their responsibilities toward the ways they relate with others. Issues related to caring for the needy connect to the core through the following standards, objectives, and indicators: • Grade 3, Standard 3: Students will understand the principles of civic responsibility in classroom, community, and country.Objective 1: Describe the rights and responsibilities inherent in being a contributing member of a community.Indicator b: List the responsibilities community members have to one another.Indicator c: Identify why these responsibilities are important for a functioning community.• Grade 4, Standard 3: Students will understand the roles of civic life, politics, and government in the lives of Utah citizens. Objective 1: Describe the responsibilities and rights of individuals in a representative government as well as in the school and community. Indicator d: Explain how the influence and power of individuals is affected when they organize into groups Indicator e: Describe and model ways that citizens can participate in civic responsibilities. Indicator f: Contribute to and practice classroom goals, rules, and responsibilities.Classroom Applications:Students in the classroom need to have opportunities where they can recognize their responsibilities toward and influence on each other. One way to do this is to have students assume roles in the classroom or school where they serve others (e.g. class jobs, student government, etc.). Another application is to assign students study buddies for whom they take a personal interest. They could also have responsibilities for the care of school equipment, crosswalk duties, flag duty, and other service opportunities.Submitted by Joyce Mustoe
I really like how this article focused on such a positive note of Thanksgiving. I see a lot of consumerism in the news, and so this is definitely a nice change. I think it would be good to tell students about things like this happening, and how much of a difference things like these can make! My ward did something similar this Thanksgiving- we got food donations from ward members to provide families with a Thanksgiving dinner. I was surprised to learn that most of these families had never planned on making Thanksgiving a tradition, since they didn't think it would be possible. How cool would something like this be in the classroom/school? Students would definitely become more thankful for the blessings they have if they could learn that their life isn't always the norm.
I agree with Holy's comment- I like seeing this side of thanksgiving in the news! I also really appreciated how you connected it with so many standards from different grades! You really went above and beyond! It really connects well to civic responsibility, which is an important thing for us to teach our students- and I like how you then brought the idea down to the student's level in you classroom application. Great article and response.
Wall Street Journal, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2013No Door-Busters Here: Small Businesses Tread Cautiously on Black Friday; Unable to Compete With Mass-Market Discounting, Smaller Retailers Offer More Modest PromotionsBy Angus Loten and Ruth SimonSummaryMany big stores are jumping the gun on Black Friday, starting the sales earlier and slashing prices. They have to compete with one another to draw in customers and make a decent holiday profit. However, small businesses cannot afford to compete because of the small profit margin they are gaining at normal prices, and if they try to, not enough customers show up to make up for the price cuts. Their goal is to build good customer relations that will last the rest of the year, which they can try to accomplish through excellent customer service, rather than steep discounts.Connections to Social StudiesIndividuals, Groups, and Institutions, and Production, Distribution, and Consumption During Black Friday sales, individuals, groups, and institutions all work together to exchange goods and services. Stores provide goods and figure out what kind of exchange they can ask for in return for their goods that will bring in the most money and customers. Individuals find the stores where they can get the most for their money, and shop at those stores for the goods and services that they need/want, especially since they are looking for gifts for their friends and family as Christmas approaches.Weekly QuestionI think that students from early on are exposed to consumerism, and I believe that they need to understand what is going on when their mom takes them Black Friday shopping Friday morning after Thanksgiving, or even that Thursday evening.1st grade Standard 4- Students will describe the economic choices people make to meet their basic economic needs.Objective 2 - Recognize that people need to make choices to meet their needsa. Describe the economic choices that people make regarding goods and services. b. Describe why wanting more than a person can have requires a person to make choices. c. Identify choices families make when buying goods and services. d. Explain why people save money to buy goods and services in the future. Classroom ApplicationsI think it would be interesting to show students different Black Friday ads for big retailers, and ask them to see what they can find that is similar between the stores (Sale times, items, prices, etc.). I think then, to tie in the ideas in this article, they could be shown the prices for smaller, more local stores and then discuss as a class why they might be different from the larger stores.-Holly Meek
I like how this article focuses on how Black Friday affects small businesses . I agree that this is an important thing for students to be aware of, so as they start shopping on their own they can make informed choices of where they shop. I also liked your classroom application of looking at the adds- they see those all the time around this season, what a great opportunity to teach them about something they see every day.
I especially appreciate your classroom application and attention to young students as consumers. It is important to begin teaching children about economics when they are young, so they won't be swayed by advertising without understanding the implications of their choices. What a great opportunity to discuss wants and needs, too...and way to tie the article to multiple first grade standards!
New York Times- December 1, 2013Gloomy Numbers for Holiday Shopping's Big WeekendBy Elizabeth A Harris SummaryBlack Friday shopping was less than in previous years due to sales being extended weeks before the weekend and the slower economy. Consumers spent $1.7 million less than the year before, according to the National Retail Federation. However, more than 141 million people shopped in store and online between Thursday and Sunday ( a slight increase of 1%), however the average amount spent by each person decreased. Many stores opened on Thursday, and those did well but took away from Black Friday. Connections to Social StudiesProduction, Distribution, and Consumption- Black Friday and the sales around the holiday season are a great connection to producers, distributors, and consumers. It is a great tie in to economics, and something your students are very likely familiar with. Weekly Question & classroom applicationBlack Friday is very much a national holiday tradition. My fourth graders were just finishing up their economics unit as I was leaving practicum. In this unit the learned about producers and consumers and supply and demand etc. This article and others about black Friday would be great ones to connect to the economics unit, and discuss the vocabulary they learned in terms of Black Friday, which the are familiar with. Since fourth grade focuses on Utah economics, you could likely find an article in a local paper that focuses on Black Friday statistics in Utah that you could use in class. Fourth grade social studies -Standard 2- objective 3. ( explain the development of the economy in utah)-Cami Hall
I also read this article and love your social studies connection to economics! That would be so beneficial for students to apply the vocabulary they’ve learned to Black Friday. Connecting the unit they’ve been studying to the real world would help students see the importance and relevance of their learning!
New York Times/ 12-2-13Gloomy Numbers for Holiday Shopping’s Big Weekend/ By: Elizabeth HarrisSummary: Black Friday weekend looked sparser than previous years. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers spent about 1.7 billion less on holiday shopping over the weekend than last year. Still, there were 141 million people who shopped online or in stores between Thursday and Sunday. The holiday season typically amounts to 20 to 40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales. This year, however, sales began weeks before Thanksgiving so the sales are more spread out. Despite a decline in the number of Black Friday shoppers, the Retail Federation believes that the early start of holiday sales and an increase in online shopping will result in a 3.9 percent increase in sales this year.Connections to Social Studies: 3rd Grade Social Studies Standard 2, Objective 1.a: Identify the elements of culture (e.g. language, religion, customs, artistic expression, systems of exchange).This article relates to the objective above as it talks about an American Christmas tradition. You could explore Christmas traditions/customs of various people. This article also relates to the NCSS Theme of Culture. The study of culture includes studying the traditions and way of life of a group of people. Through studying holiday traditions of various people, students will understand that there are similarities and differences among cultures.Topic of the Week: As a class, you could read a selection from this article as Black Friday shopping is an American Christmas tradition. Students could list other American Christmas traditions. Then, students could be divided into groups and be assigned a country to research traditions they have to celebrate the holidays. Students could present their findings.3rd Grade Social Studies Standard 2, Objective 1.a: Identify the elements of culture (e.g. language, religion, customs, artistic expression, systems of exchange).Newspaper Applications: Newspaper articles are a great tool for students to use to learn about the world around them. As students research holiday traditions around the world, it would be beneficial to have them use a variety of resources such as the internet, newspapers, and books.Blog Author: Kara Weathers
You have an interesting idea to incorporate this into the classroom by discussing different Christmas traditions instead of focusing on the money aspect of it. I like that you are talking more about WHY the sales are happening instead of just the fact that they are happening and that they aren't doing as well this year as past years.
The Wall Street JournalDecember 2, 2013Holiday Sales Sag Despite Blitz of DealsBy: Shelly Banjo & Greg BensingerSummaryThere are more penny pinchers in our country today than there were last year-- even with earlier marketing for Black Friday (and gray Thursday) deals, sales did not match predictions. Because there are less days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many retailers felt like they needed to start their sales earlier to compete with other businesses, but it didn't have the effect they expected.Connections to Social StudiesThis relates to social studies because of the way business look at production, distribution, and consumption, especially during the holiday season. They try to evaluate why people are spending less this year and the causes for the effect.Weekly Question & classroom applicationWe could have the kids figure out how many days there are between Thanksgiving and Christmas and give them a goal for sales-- as if they were running a business. They would need to figure out how much they would need to sell, on average, per day, in order to reach their goal. They would need to compete with their peers' businesses by having sales and trying to get other students to shop at their store.2nd grade: Standard 4, objective 1c: Recognize that people supply goods and services based on what people want.Taryn Lewis
I like how you thought of integrating math into your lesson. We don't often think of matching social studies with math but it totally works.
I thought that this was a great idea. I thought that most of your students will know about Black Friday and that Christmas shopping is something that they relate to and will like. Using this will be interesting and keep your students actively involved in learning.
New York Times, December 2, "Gloomy Numbers for Holiday Shopping's Big Weekend" by Elizabeth A. Harris.Summary: Americans spent $1.7 billion less than last year over the course of the traditionally busiest shopping weekend of the year. The average amount individual shoppers either spent or planned to spend also dropped about $20. Researchers cite various causes like unemployment, slow wage raises, and a sliding of consumer confidence. There have also been many more people shopping before Black Friday weekend because of the shorter time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. This is significant to business because many stores make the majority of their profit during the holiday season.Connection to Social Studies: A lot of social studies deals with the economy and things like supply and demand. If Americans are spending less that could mean less jobs and lower stock values. Weekly Question and Classroom Application: It is valuable to bring this up and discuss things like what determines value? What do numbers like this mean for average people like you and me? There are a lot of simulations you could do in the classroom to mimic this. You could use paper money and mock markets to see the results of inflation, wage cuts and supply shortages. The class could also discuss different reasons the economy changes and reasons people might be spending less money than last year (see standard below). Standard 2, objective 3e: Identify the factors which bring about economic changes (e.g. natural resource development, new technologies, new market development, globalization, global conflicts, education).
I like your ideas for applications! Simulations could be really fun and valuable to the students for illustrating this concept.
The New York TimesThe Birth of Thanksgiving by Paul QuigleyNovember 28, 2013Summary: Although Thanksgiving was first associated with the Pilgrims and Indians, it became an official holiday event during the Civil War. Even in the midst of the war, he urged Americans to celebrate to last Thursday in November as "a day of thanksgiving and prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens.” It was celebrated sporadically by some states, until a journalist named Sarah Hale pushed to have the national holiday established as a way to bind the fighting South and North together. The traditions and celebration of Thanksgiving has changed and morphed over the years. The focus has shifted from church to home. Football has also become an element. And thanks to the late 19th century marketing efforts of the poultry industry, turkey has become the centerpiece. Connections to Social Studies:This could tie into the second grade core:Objective 3 Investigate and show how communities, state, and nation are united by symbols that represent citizenship in our nation.a. Explain the significance of various community, state, and national celebrations (e.g., Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving). You could talk about how Thanksgiving came to be a national holiday and how it has evolved over time. I thought it also could tie into the economics side of social studies. I thought it was interesting how it has changed so much overtime and how a lot of that has to do with advertising! Weekly Question and Classroom Application:Have a discussion on how advertising affects supply and demand and how what we as producers choose to buy. Talk about how turkey became central because of advertising. It would be fun to have the students come up with their own advertising presentation about a tradition their family has that they would like to become national or just try and convince the class to do something different this holiday. Blog Author: Katy Powell
I liked reading about the history of Thanksgiving. I did not know that this holiday has been influenced by so much advertising. I liked your idea at the end of having students come up with their own advertising presentation or doing something different with their family this year!
Thank You for Being HereThe New York TimesNovember 28, 2013By Joyce WadlerArticle Summary: Thanksgiving is a time of family and of food, but sometimes things happen that make us forget about this and focus on being thankful for live. This woman had cancer and she told of her story of how she was in the hospital for Thanksgiving. She then said that she was more thankful for the small things in life. Social Studies Connection: This article relates to the social studies core in sixth grade. In the core, the students are supposed to learn about how religion has played a role in human history from ancient times to today. This article speaks about Thanksgiving today and this woman’s perspective of what to be thankful for. She talks about religion in the holiday today and how this changed her. This article is striving to give people a different perspective on Thanksgiving and being thankful. Application: I would use this article as a resource to have the students look at the different perspectives on religion and thankfulness during the years of Thanksgiving. I would have the students find other articles throughout time that spoke of Thanksgiving. I would have the students look at many different articles and compare and contrast them throughout time. Core:This article is a great resource for looking at how religious ideas influence current issues. This could also be studied throughout time. This is the Sixth grade core, Standard 1, Objective 2, Indicators a and c. They talk about exploring the importance of religion in the cultural expression of ancient civilizations and analyzing how religious ideas influence current issue today. Blog Author: Rachel Stokes
This articles reflects what Thanksgiving is all about. I feel like students should read articles such as these because it has true meaning and helps them think of what really is important. Thanks for your comments!
The War on ThanksgivingNew York TimesNovember 26, 2013By: Editorial BoardArticle Summary:Thanksgiving has always been a time for family and celebration. It has changed in recent years to a greater focus on holiday shopping. Stores that were not open on Thanksgiving now are, and even open their doors early in the morning. It takes away from the true meaning of this holiday and those who work at the stores do not get a Thanksgiving holiday. Consumerism has really worked its way into our society and influences many. The spirit of Thanksgiving has become diluted as a result. Social Studies Connection:3rd Grade - Standard 2:Students will understand cultural factors that shape a community. Objective 1: Evaluate key factors that determine how a community develops. Indicator C: Compare elements of the local community with communities from different parts of the world (e.g. industry, economic specialization ) Objective 2: Explain how selected indigenous cultures of the Americas have changed over time.Indicator C: Identify how indigenous people maintain cultural traditions today. This article relates to the social studies core in 3rd grade. Students are learning about cultural factors that affect the community in which they live. They also explore and compare how their society compares to other society's cultural factors and traditions. We could discuss how society changes and how that influences our lives. Classroom Application:I would use this article to talk about the values of our society. I would ask them what their opinion was of how Thanksgiving is changing with the added consumerism. I think it would be interesting to look at other countries and their consumerism on this holiday. I would have students look up articles and compare and contrast and then have a discussion of their findings. Blog Author: Natalie Bench
Natalie, I appreciate that you wrote about this article because the increase in commercialism is so apparent these days. I was talking to my family this year after we feasted on our Thanksgiving meal that people were most likely out waiting in line for open-early Black Friday stores, waiting to get deals for Christmas. Then, I saw a meme about this fact that made me laugh: "Black Friday: When people trample others for cheap goods mere hours after being thankful for what they already have". The fact that people are thinking less on the things for which they are grateful for and more about the deals they can get on material items is very sad to me, but a concept we need to address with our students. It's important for them to realize what this holiday is truly about, as well as their opinion about the whole matter. --Heather Young
"Holidays Holding Hands"The New York TimesNovember 4, 2013David FirestoneArticle Summary: The author of this article, a practicing Jew, discusses how Hanukkah and Thanksgiving have not fallen on the same day in a long time, 150 years to be exact. Thus, he discusses how his family will attempt to fuse the two holidays this year by selecting foods that will compliment both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. One quote that I greatly appreciated from the article was this: "Latkes are no more authentic to the origin story of Hanukkah than pumpkin pie is to the first Thanksgiving, so why not play with both holiday traditions?" The realization that holidays are ever changing and being accommodated may be a new concept. Social Studies Connection: In teaching about this article to students regarding social studies, it would be beneficial to bring in the contributions of the American Indian population on the colonial settlements, particularly their contribution to the pilgrims on the Mayflower. The Native Americans provided assistance during the hard winters, resulting in the first Thanksgiving feast. I would specifically connect these ideas to the following Social Studies standard regarding the contributions of the American Indian people. Standards 1, Objective 1.f: Analyze contributions of American Indian people to the colonial settlements. Classroom Application:It's good to recognize that even students in our classroom might be celebrating multiple holidays at the same time. This is because some students come from a diverse background and may still celebrate those holidays from their country of origin, alongside the American National holidays. By being aware of these things, students can be accommodated into the classroom and teachers can even have students share their experiences so that other students know what type of diversity exists in their classroom. --Heather Young
I like this! I think it's important to hold on to traditions, but also be willing to adapt them to represent your own culture and beliefs. I like that he was willing to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Students would benefit from this open perspective because they would be willing to learn from each other.
New York Times, Monday Dec. 2, 2013"Ebenezer Sharpens Sarcasm For Today" by Anita GatesSummary of Article:This article describes a the play "A Christmas Carol" that is playing at Theater at St. Clement's. The play is being done with a slightly modern acting feel to it. The main character and four supporting actors all create a great atmosphere to experience this traditional play.Connect to Social Studies:This article is perfect with the Social Studies standard 2 objective 2c: "Identify how indigenous people maintain cultural traditions today." One of the ways people maintain traditions is through theater! Plays are in all cultures and do a great deal to represent the people and their perspectives.Classroom Application:Students could discuss how theater helps carry on traditions, what some of their favorite plays are, and what traditions they have in their life. I would maybe try having them create a play to portray a favorite tradition of theirs. Or I would have them pick out a holiday play they know of and we perform it for another class. Students can come to understand how important it is to remember our culture and pass it down.- Holly J
Wow! This is such a great way to tie in Social Studies to Holiday traditions! I love the Social Studies Standard you tied to it. Plays are still a huge part of our society and go way back to ancient times as well.
I love your classroom connection because it integrates the arts! I think that students would really love creating a play about their own holiday traditions, especially in the younger grades.
New York Times, December 8, 2013"From Memos to Mistletoe" by Grant McCrackenSummary of Article:This article questions whether or not office Christmas parties with alcohol and such is a bad idea. Some people think that they should keep fun things like that separate from their work. Others think it is necessary for creating more friendship in the office environment.Connect to Social Studies:Our Holiday traditions are a huge part of our society and the study of our society. It seems that every culture has their Holiday traditions. Sometimes that is the only thing I know about a country.. their Holiday traditions. A Social Studies Common Core Standard that would go along with this article would be 3rd Grade Standard 2: Students will understand cultural factors that shape a community, Objective 1: Evaluate key factors that determine how a community develops. Indicator C: Compare elements of the local community with communities from different parts of the world (e.g. industry, economic specialization ). Classroom Application:Students could look at different Holiday traditions and how they have contributed to the development of that community. Then they could also look at holiday traditions of other countries and compare. This would help them to learn about other cultures and get them excited about it. I think it was always really fun to learn about the Holiday traditions of other cultures. And it could help them see how much Holidays have shaped our communities and how our communities have shaped our Holiday traditions.Lana Poppleton
The New York TimesFriday, December 6, 2013An App to Find Holiday Light DisplaysBy Jonah BromwichArticle Summary:A new app this holiday season, called “Christmas and Holiday Light Displays”, allows users to quickly find some of the most spectacular light displays in their area and mark displays that they find on the map. The app creator says that when his children were younger he, “used to always drive them around and show them all the Christmas tree lights.” This app allows families to quickly find holiday lights to admire together. Social Studies Connection:This article connects to the NCSS themes of culture and science, technology, and society because it shows one common holiday tradition of people living in the United States and how technology affects that tradition. This article connects with the social studies core in Kindergarten:Standard 1(Culture): Students will recognize and describe how individuals and families are both similar and different.Objective 2Recognize and describe how families have both similar and different characteristics.D. Share how families celebrate occasions such as birthdays and holidays.Application:In my classroom I would use this article to begin a discussion about the holiday traditions of different students in our classroom. Then we can see how different families celebrate the holidays in different ways. Holiday Traditions:I love this article because it shows how new technology affects holiday traditions. As more technology is available to us, it improves our lives and makes even holiday traditions more efficient! Rather than driving around trying to find the most extravagant houses, families can now go straight to the best Christmas lights using this app. Blog Author: Laura Villicana