Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Words: Turkeys Can't Anticipate

One of my favorite Thanksgiving poems is a short one from Jack Prelutsky.

If turkeys thought, they'd run away
A week before Thanksgiving Day.
But turkeys can't anticipate,
And so there's turkey on my plate.

I introduce this poem to the students by showing it on the board or a chart and reading it out loud to them. Then I highlight the word anticipate and ask if anybody knows what this word means. I listen to some of their ideas before showing them the definition: "To feel or realize beforehand; foresee." In other words, anticipate means feeling that something is going to happen. Turkeys should know what happens every year on Thanksgiving day but they don't because they can't anticipate.

Read the poem again this time asking the students to read it with you.

Another definition for anticipate is "To look forward to, especially with pleasure; expect." I tell the students that every year I anticipate Thanksgiving because I love to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television. It happens every year and I look forward to it, so I anticipate it. I ask them about the things they anticipate at Thanksgiving. The students share what they anticipate with a partner and I make a list on the board.

I point out that many of them shared some Thanksgiving food that they anticipate eating. I give them each a paper plate and ask them to draw on the front of it the foods they anticipate eating. On the back of the plate, I have them copy the poem to remind them of the word anticipate. (You could also save and print the image above for gluing on the back of their plates.)


Extension: This lesson is a great opportunity to start one of my favorite vocabulary tools: the "Cool Words We Know" chart. I had it on a long cupboard on the back of my room. Every time we learned or heard a really cool word we would learn the definition and add the word to the chart. Anticipate would definitely be on the "Cool Words We Know" chart.

I anticipate that your students will love this activity!

We're linked up at No Time For Flashcards.

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