Turkey with onion and celery stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Corn on the cob. Macaroni and cheese. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Dinner rolls. Cornbread. Candied yams. Green bean casserole. Pumpkin pie.
Is your stomach growling yet?
It’s hard to imagine November without a Thanksgiving feast. This tradition has been at the heart of the United States for a long time. Abraham Lincoln called for the last Thursday of November to become a day of Thanksgiving, and in 1870 Congress made it an official national holiday. But the tradition has deeper roots than even that.
Most people think of the first Thanksgiving meal as having taken place in Massachusetts in 1621, when the Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims of the Plymouth colony shared a harvest celebration together. The Pilgrims certainly had a lot to be thankful for – the Wampanoag Indians, being the native experts of this land, had taught the Pilgrims many farming techniques that led to a bountiful harvest. For example, Native Americans pioneered crop rotation, or planting different seeds in a certain area each year, in order to rejuvenate the soil. They also devised a technique called companion planting, which meant planting certain foods like corn, beans, and squash close to one another – the beans would grow alongside the cornstalk, the stalk leaves would keep the beans shaded from the sun, and the squash kept the ground moist. This attention to detail and emphasis on natural harmony are emblematic of native culture. Without the help of the Wampanoag, the Pilgrims very likely would not have survived.
Did you know that before Europeans discovered America, the rest of the world did not have corn, squash, chilis, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, cacao, and vanilla? It’s hard to imagine Italian food without tomato sauce, Asian food without chilis, or the famous French eclair without chocolate! The whole world was changed by what is known as the Columbian Exchange, which refers to the exchange of new animals, plants, minerals, diseases, and ideas between the “old world” (Europe, Africa, and Asia) and the “new world” (the Americas). It is also hard to imagine modern-day USA without cows, horses, and pigs, but these animals have only been around the Americas since the 16th century!
The gemstones for November are topaz and citrine. Often confused for one another, these are actually two completely different minerals! Topaz comes in many different colors due to the presence of different minerals within it or the different ways it is formed, but in its purest form it is colorless and may even look like a diamond. On the other hand, citrine is almost always yellow or orange. While these stones both represent good health, wealth, and protection, they also fit in nicely with the autumn colors.
The November flower is the chrysanthemum. The root word chrysos meant gold, as originally these flowers were yellow in color, but have since been cultivated to come in a variety of colors. They symbolize loyalty, friendship, and joy due to the fact that they bloom so late into the fall season – a final pop of color before winter descends upon the garden.
How many days are in November?
There are 30 days in November.
How many school days are in November?
Some districts will take the whole Thanksgiving week off for a break, while others will only cancel classes for Thursday and Friday.
What are some month-long observances in November?
What are some major holidays in November?
What are some major sporting events in November?
What are some good lesson plans for November?
Here are over 3,200 lesson plans for November.
How can I motivate my students in November?
Look no further than NaNoWriMo! While it may be ambitious to ask all of your students to write a whole novel this month, a spurt of creative writing will be a much-appreciated breath of fresh air. Depending on which subject you teach, this creative writing can take many shapes. For science class, challenge your students to write a speculative fiction about a society based on a future technology. For history, go the opposite way and have students write from the perspective of a historical figure or person living during a certain time period. You don’t have to ask students to do this individually – pretend you’re at a writer’s pitch meeting to develop the plot of a movie and let the whole class come up with ideas for the characters, plot, and theme!
Can I download and print this November classroom calendar for my students?
Yes, absolutely! Enjoy.