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Compiled By: mshunny

Here are some Thanksgiving Activities for your classroom.

Thanksgiving display
Posted by: jennieb

I'm not sure if you wanted to go along with the holiday theme, but I have a few ideas for Thanksgiving.

1. I am thankful for....Start with a writing prompt. Draw a huge turkey without feathers. Each child will then cut out a feather and write what they are thankful for.

2. A Harvest of Good Actions...Around the title, you could staple up a card or a picture every time a child is seeing doing something helpful and out of their way.

3. Assign each student(or let them choose)a part of a scene from the Thanksgiving feast. For example, one child could be in charge of drawing the table, one can draw the turkey.

Thanksgiving Feast
Posted by: Karen

We have a Thanksgiving Feast with our second graders every year. After studying the history of Thanksgiving, half of the second grade dress as Pilgrims (with paper bonnets/white trash bag aprons for the girls, hats for the boys) and half dress as Native Americans (with head dresses and vests from paper sacks). We all meet in the cafeteria where the cafeteria workers have made us cornbread and serve us apple juice. We make a snack mix with popcorn, peanuts, raisins, m&ms, etc. as seperate classes to bring. The teachers bring beef jerky. The students sit at the tables, alternating Pilgrim/Native American. We say a "Giving Thanks" poem together and have our Feast! The kids really like it!

Thanksgiving bulletin boards
Posted by: Sue

I just had my first graders write a story of "How to Cook a Turkey". They had to tell what to write first, next and last. Some of them included funny things to put in the stuffing (candy, potato chips!). One girl wrote that her mom will go to Kmart to get the turkey. Some of the children wrote that they had to go buy a turkey, put salt and pepper on it, cook it, and, last, eat it. It was very cute. We will rewrite them on turkey-shaped papers and make a few crafty turkeys.

Thanksgiving B.B.
Posted by: Kristi

I make a large cornucopia and write the following poem on it:
Each one of you is special
I know that to be true.
And that is why I want to say
"I'm so thankful for you!"

Then I put the children's pictures on heart cutouts and place them coming out of the cornucopia. I place letters on the b.b. that say I'm Thankful For You! I use a fall border. The hearts are red, orange, and green. The letters are in green on a yellow background.

Posted by: Colleen

I make butter and corn bread. For the corn bread I use my electric frying pan with the lit on. I use corn bread mix from a box(Jiffy). We mix up several boxes, pour into small waxed drinking cups and put into the pan bake for 15 minutes. We have no over available and this works great.

Also we make mini pumpkin squares. Mix about a tablespoon of pumkin pie mix in a can with cool whip. Make a sandwich from graham crackers and freeze.

Native Americans and Thanksgiving
Posted by: Mary

There is a book put out by Scholastic called
Tampenum's Day: A Wamponoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times. It was written by Kate Waters and goes with the books: Sarah Morten's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl and Samuel Eaton: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy. All three of these books contain beautiful color photographs of people who are doing reinactments of those times.

Posted by: Lori

Here are some things that I have done. I am doing centers, but more academic type. I hope these help!

1. Turkey hand magnet. Children trace their hand on brown craft foam. They cut it out and add a feather on each finger a beak and a google eye. Then an adult can hot glue a magnet or buy the ones that stick.

2. Brown Bag Turkey. Use small lunch bags. Stuff with news paper. Gather at top and secure so you have excess at the top. Have feather and head tracers for them. Glue feathers to rear (where the flat part of the bag is. Where they gathered the paper they put the head.

3. Dream Catchers. Children make two brown pipe cleaners into a circle. They add beads to string and criss cross it all over the circle. Then they can add longer pieces of string and attach feather.

4. Corn on the cob paper. Let the children roll corn on the cob in paint and design their own wrapping paper.

5. Corn napkin holders. Use colored corn and add to cut toilet paper tubes. They could also make cute place cards if you supply them with some clip art.

6. Kids always like to have a card center. I put stickers for the holiday, clip art and words they will need. I also have them pick a few names out a hat and write a thank you note to classmates. (Make sure everyone gets one!)

Posted by: Kathy

If you don't need something curriculum-based, one of the cutest displays I did was a gigantic Mayflower. (I had my high school helper blow it up on the overhead.) Then (depending on how big your "Mayflower" is), have each student make a pilgrim from a paper plate or color one that you have xeroxed from a coloring book. Label each pilgrim--it makes a showy display.

I have done turkeys(also from paper plates) with something they are thankful for on each construction paper feather. That makes another cute display.

One hint I would give you on displays if you don't have guidelines on how often you need to change them. Make them SEASONAL instead of holiday related. (As in writing a poem about leaves or snowflakes) Then you are not bound to take it down as soon as the holiday is over!!

turkey's point of view
Posted by: mlg

Funny you should mention that. I will be starting just such a mini-unit tomorrow with my fifth-graders. I've used it several times in the past and the kids always seem to have fun with it.

While I don't read a book about turkeys and Thanksgiving, I do get the class thinking about different points of view by first reading "The Three Little Pigs" and then the wolf's side of the story (kind of like a fractured fairy tale thing). We get started by brainstorming why the two sides differ in the telling, then the students write a short essay explaining whose version is likely to be more valid based on the "evidence" from the two stories.

After they have done that part then we discuss Thanksgiving dinner from the perspective of both the hungry participant and the turkey. Using a graphic organizer, they list reasons supporting both sides of the issue and then they write a persuasive argument from the turkey's point of view as to why turkey should not be on the menu.

As I said, the students usually have a good time with this and some of the results have been hysterical.

Thanksgiving Acrostic Poem
Posted by: mshunny

Have your students tell what they are thankful for by writing an acrostic poem. For the kindergarten, first and second you can make an acrostic poem as a class. Third gradea and up can come up with their own acrostic poem.

Here is an example.

Turkeys and stuffing
Having friends and family
Always thankful for what I have
New shoes and clothes to wear
Kindness from people
Spending time with my grandparents
Going outside to play
I am thankful
Very thankful
I love my pet
Nice things that people do
Grateful for everything