1-2-3 Make a Thanksgiving Placemat With Me
Lately my blog posts have been a bit long. I'm endeavoring to try and keep them shorter, but I have so much to share that it's sometimes difficult. Today I designed only 1 new activity, so this will be brief.
My husband and I were eating out the other night and we noticed some really well-behaved children, busily working away on the activity placemat that quite a few restaurants hand out.
I think this is a wonderful "super-duper-shutter-upper" and great way to keep children occupied, with something educational until their food arrives.
Since my brain never shuts down when it comes to thinking up new things to make, I wondered what kind of placemat I could dream up, and right away thought one for Thanksgiving would be appropriate.
Our kindergartners always had a mock Thanksgiving feast on the floor in the cafeteria. Some came as Pilgrims, others as Native Americans. If you do something similar, making a placemat on that special day would be a fun activity. Since the last day before any vacation seems to be a high energy day, this would also be something you could easily plug in for a little quiet time before dismissal.
However you use it, I hope it's enjoyable. So that you have an answer key, I've included one that I filled in with my grandson's handprint.
Click on the link to view/download the Thanksgiving Placemat.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I design and blog daily, so I hope you can mosey on by tomorrow, to grab the newest FREEBIES.
"Even though we can't have everything we want, we can be thankful that we don't get everything we sometimes deserve." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Make a Terrific Thanksgiving Turkey Craft With Me!
If you're looking for some fresh new turkey "craftivities" that your kiddo's will enjoy, you've come to the right place! Here are some of my all-time favorites. I hope you find a few that you'll want to make with your own little turkeys.
Turkey Art Projects + Activities is a whopping 81-pages long and features over a dozen quick and easy turkey crafts + a few worksheets, songs and a game.
It was one of the first units that I put together 3 years ago, before I had all of the fonts, and software programs that I use now for a more professional look, so all of the patterns are hand drawn in this packet.
They are still easy to follow, with complete directions. If you have construction paper, glue, scissors and crayons, then you're all set! Click on the link to view/download the Turkey Craftivities packet.
Happy Fall Y'all is a football-shaped turkey. Under his wing is a poem I wrote so you can have a teachable moment about rhyming words:
November’s for turkeys with piping-hot stuffing
and blowing winds that are huffing and puffing.
Orange, red, and yellow, fall-colored leaves
sweatshirts with warm, snuggly-long sleeves.
Tiny-tot turkeys that go gobble-gobble
jointed and cute, that wibble and wobble.
They say: “Stay inside and watch some football.”
and oh by the way “Happy Fall Y’all!”
Hyrum is an adorable stuffed turkey. His body is a lunch bag stuffed with scrap paper. He's wonderful for fine motor practice, and makes an adorable centerpiece for your kiddo's to present to their mommies.
Patty is a paper chain turkey that can be used to practice pattering and counting. For writing practice, have students write their spelling words, fall vocabulary, or things that they are thankful for on each strip.
Turk, the ribbon-legged turkey, is a sweet dangler. To incorporate writing with this art project, give students a prompt and have them complete it, and then glue it to the back of Turk.
Trudy is the thankful turkey. A note home is included, so parents can help children write what they are thankful for on the feathers and then glue them to the turkey. Accordion-folded legs, are great fine motor practice too.
If you'd like to practice counting, you may want to make Clark the Count On Me turkey booklet. There's a blank circle template if you want to work on teen or higher numbers, or even skip-counted numbers.
Clara is made out of a TP tube and reviews counting as well as colors. Wiggle eyes, a 3D mouth and pipe cleaner feet, all add to her goofy appearance. My Y5's LOVED her; she makes a cute table decoration too.
All of the above turkey craftivities can be found in the Turkey Art and Activities packet along with a few more + some songs, worksheets and a game. Click on the link to view/download it.
In another packet, is one of my personal favorites. I named her Gabby The Crumb Gobbler. I was inspired by my beloved grama Lydia when I designed it. She always said: "Many hands make light work." so I made a little poem, with that thought in mind: "Many hands make light work, this I know is true, so let my little turkey, gobble up crumbs for you."
Children color and cut Gabby's head and glue her to the top half of a paper plate and then color the ridged portion of the rim to look like mini feathers.
Her body acts like a dustpan. The quarter section "wing" is the sweeper. This really does work and "sweeps" crumbs off the table, onto Gabby, and then into the garbage!
Students glue the poem to the center and practice "sweeping." I paperclip the sections together and send them home. My Y5's always thought their "turkey broom" was especially fun. Click on the link to view/download Gabby.
Finally, there's Thomas the twirled turkey. His body sports another poem:
"This is my turkey round and fat. His feathers show a color pattern imagine that! Red-Orange-and Yellow make him a bright happy fellow. I twirled strips of color around a pencil you see, then glued them as feathers, so my picture's 3D. He's a special present to you from me. Made with lots of TLC."
Twirling strips of colored paper around a pencil, was not only great fine motor practice, but enjoyable for my Y5's too.
I design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES.
"For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be." -John Connolly
1-2-3 Come Look At Some Interesting Photographs With Me!
When I was designing things for the Pilgrim Children packet, I was truly able to visualize their life, because of an awesome vacation my husband and I took to Massachusetts.
I thought visitors might find it helpful if I posted 4 packets of pictures from that trip, that you could share with your students.
You could print, laminate and make them into picture books, or present them as a slide show. Whatever you decide to do I hope they enhance your Thanksgiving studies in some way.
The first packet of photographs is of the Mayflower II Click on the link to view/download 22 photographs.
The Mayflower II is a full-size replica of the original ship that really sailed here from Great Britain. It was a gift to us from that country! I had an absolute blast boarding the ship and exploring.
Actors dressed in authentic costumes were available to answer questions. As with all of the Plimoth Plantation sights, these people truly become their characters. Their accent and use of words that were common for that time period, make things even more realistic!
To view an excellent video of the Mayflower II click on the link. It gives lots of background information that you'll find very interesting.
New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang gets a rare tour of the ship while it was undergoing routine maintenance in drydock at a Fairhaven shipyard.
Another awesome video is a quick 3-minute clip that shows some of the live actors that we saw on our trip and gives some more background information. Click on the link to view The Mayflower II
If you're allowed to show videos in your class or you homeschool, a cute animated video entitled The Mouse on the Mayflower can be viewed by clicking on the link. The Mouse on the Mayflower is a 1968 animated Thanksgiving television special created by Rankin/Bass. It debuted on NBC on November 23, 1968. The special is about a mouse named Willum.
I had mentioned in a previous article, about a place called Plimoth Plantation. They purposely spelled their park this way, because there were no spelling rules in the 17th century and they felt that this would have been the way the Pilgrims would have spelled the word.
For an excellent virtual fieldtrip of this intriguing place click on the link above. Plimoth Plantation has partnered with Scholastic and in 2012 they expanded the Thanksgiving Virtual Field Trip. Click on the link to view the newest additions. Scholastic also released a 2-minute video featuring Goodwife Hopkins answering questions.
To view/download my Plimoth Plantation photographs click on the link. I also have a photo packet of Plymouth Rock as well as a few from the Wampanoag Village. Click on the links to view/download them.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." -Benjamin Franklin
1-2-3 Come Do Some "I'm Thankful" Writing With Me!
If you're looking for an alternative to the "I'm Thankful Turkey" writing prompt activity that's you've done for years, you may want to try the Thankful Tree.
The tree-top writing prompt pages are larger, so students can write a bit more than on the typical feather. The tree is also a nice review of the 4 seasons, and a chance to showcase students descriptive writing, if you encourage the use of adjectives.
Here's what to do:
Print off the tops of the trees on appropriate colors of construction paper. i.e. a green cover, orange for the fall page, white or powder blue for the winter page, pink for the spring page, yellow for the summer page, and finally ending with green for the thankful page.
Via a discussion, review the various seasons and what kinds of things children see and do in them. Write a list on the board.
Look at the list and ask students to think of descriptive words that would make those things and activities "come alive". List those as well. This will jump-start your students' brains as well as help them with spelling.
Students should compose their rough draft on scratch paper. Have them underline the adjectives, so they can see if they have included at least 2 per sentence. If they haven’t, they need to go back and add some.
Children can work on a page a day as part of their writing block, or for the writing portion of your Daily 5 activities. Remind students to use proper spacing and end punctuation, as well as trace the beginning words of each sentence. I’d have them underline the adjectives as well.
Once they have written their sentences, students cut out their tree trunk and tops of the tree. They need to make sure the pages are in order.
Children start with the last page and glue it to the top of the tree, and then staple the rest of the tree-top pages together onto that last page, so that the staple acts as a hinge and the tree-top pages flip up.
To add that finishing touch, students glue their school photo to the hollow of the tree. Children can also draw seasonally appropriate things to each of the trees, or glue, paper punch-cut shapes. Seasonal stickers are also fun. I used apples, leaves, snowflakes, flowers and hearts.
Click on the link to view/download The Thankful Tree. Thanks for visiting today. I design and blog daily so I hope you can stop by again tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES. Feel free to PIN away.
"I read; I travel; I become." -Derek Walcott
1-2-3 Come Learn About Pilgrim Children With Me!
Having taught about the first Thanksgiving and Pilgrims for years, I thought I was pretty knowledgeable. My husband and I also visited the outstanding Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth Massachusettes, which made me appreciate the hardships these people endured even more. If you've never been to this historical place, I highly recommend it!
I thought it would be fun to delve into the life of a child during 1620. I felt students would find it very interesting to compare themselves with a Pilgrim child's life.
After over 30 hours doing research, visiting countless websites and perusing 20+ books, I learned so many interesting facts, and truly enjoyed this journey of discovery. I hope you will too. Click on the link to view/download the Pilgrim Children Packet.
Start with the KWL to see where your kiddo's are at. I've included one in color to do as a whole group, and another in black line for students to fill in on their own.
Afterwards, introduce your study, by reading several non-fiction as well as fictional books. I've included a bibliography of 25 of my all-time favorite Pilgrim books. Later, ask your students if they think that the Pilgrim children who lived during that time period, were really different than the children of today.
I feel there is no better way to launch children into comparison and contrast, that's easy and understandable, than to use Venn diagrams. I've included 12 different Venn diagrams in the packet, so that children can compare & contrast clothing, chores, homes, and education, as well as games and toys.
Students can work independently, with a partner, or you can do the Venn diagrams as a whole group activity.
Personally, I'd start as a whole group and use the partially filled-in Venn diagrams, so that students can learn more interesting facts about the Pilgrim children.
Each Venn diagram has a blank template, as well as a partially filled in one. The circle for present day children can be filled in via a discussion. Choose a different Venn diagram each day, so interest remains high and the amount of content is not overwhelming.
After you have completed all of the Venn diagrams as a whole group, have children pick a partner, and choose a blank Venn diagram to fill in together. This not only reinforces facts, but becomes a tool for you to assess comprehension as well.
Now that students have quite a bit of knowledge about Pilgrim children compared to the children of today, have a discussion where students process this information and come to some conclusions. There's a writing extension for this.
I've also included 4 graphic organizers for even more writing practice + several interesting writing prompts that I think your students will enjoy.
I made a list of the 31 children who were aboard the Mayflower and included their ages. Your kiddo's will find some of the names rather odd, like Truelove, Humility, and Wrestling.
Have students choose a Pilgrim child and write a letter to them. Based on their new knowledge, they could also write a letter back written from the Pilgrim child's point of view!
Besided writing, I wanted to toss in a bit of math. Finding interesting measurement activities is not always easy, but the Mayflower as well as the Pilgrims' homes, provide great segways. I've given the dimensions and converted square feet for you, so that you can chalk off the hold of the ship, where the Pilgrims were crammed for 65 long days, as well as the measurements of the Pilgrims' 1-room homes.
When your students stand inside the chalk lines they will truly understand size and the cramped conditions these children experienced!
Finally, I know your kiddo's will enjoy learning about the games Pilgrim children played, as well as what toys they had. You can start out by asking students if they think that the games they played were different than what some children of today play.
They may be surprised to find out, that some of the games that the Pilgrims played are still around today, and that many common games, were derived from days of old.
All of these activities can be found in the Pilgrim Children Packet click on the link to view/download it. Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away! I hope you can pop by tomorrow for even more FREEBIES as I continue blogging about Thanksgiving.
"Be thankful for what you have and you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -Ophra Winfrey