Each year around this time, your students read about the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and Native Americans, maybe even about Sarah Hale saving the holiday. But....
Officially, since 1989, it is tradition for the President of the United States to pardon the White House Thanksgiving turkey. It happened several times before 1989, too.
Each year, in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, the National Turkey Federation presents a turkey to the President. The turkey is pardoned, and spends the rest of his days on a farm in Virginia (some even participated in the Thanksgiving parade at Disney!).
Here is a fun video you can show your students of President Obama pardoning the turkey...
And you can also grab this free sample of my mix and match assessments all about the Turkey Pardoning!
In the sample, I have included the same passage about turkey pardoning on four levels (2nd-5th) with three levels of standard-based questions (3rd-5th). You can use this as an assessment or independent practice which you can differentiate, or use it in small groups to practice close reading!