Giving Thanks

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The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway ...
Thanksgiving comes again!
~ Author unknown ~


Note: I fully understand that in this day and time, it is politically correct to say "Native Americans" rather than "Indians".  However, in MS the Choctaws call themselves Indians and my husband who is part Choctaw says Indian.  So I believe that Native American, American Indian, or Indian is appropriate.   The preference is with the particular individual or group.  So I use the word Indian respectfully. 


Also, as a SPED teacher, I don't spend a lot of time talking/teaching about the historical facts of Thanksgiving ... I don't have to.  I use this theme as a fun vehicle to teach the skills that my students need to know.  But I do make sure that I tell them that Indians/Native Americans do not live in tipis, wear feathered headdresses, etc.  ... just like you're not going to see any Pilgrims walking around either.  We talk about NOW and LONG AGO ....




A Turkey For Thanksgiving ~ Eve Bunting

Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit! ~ Alyssa Satin Capucilli

The Story of Pocahontas ~ Lucille Recht Penner

Sarah Morton's Day - A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl ~ Kate Waters

Samuel Eaton's Day - A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy ~ Kate Waters

Over the River and Through the Wood ~ David Catrow

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims ~ B. G. Hennessy

My First Thanksgiving ~ Tomie dePaola

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving ~ Dav Pilkey

Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit ~ Norman Bridwell

Squanto - A Warrior's Tale ~ R. Fontes and J. Korman

The First Thanksgiving ~ Jean C. George

Thanksgiving Day (with cassette) ~ Anne Rockwell

Friendship's First Thanksgiving ~ William Accorsi

I Can Read About The First Thanksgiving (with cassette) ~ J.I. Anderson

The Very First Thanksgiving Day ~ Rhonda G. Greene



Mr. Turkey

Gobble, gobble,
Who is that?
Mr. Turkey
Big and fat.

~ Author Unknown


Pilgrim Children Did Not Play

Pilgrim children did not play,

On that first Thanksgiving Day.
The first chopped wood which he could take
To help his sister cook and bake.
The second one one took a great big sack
And brought some nuts, all they could crack.
The third one got a a turkey and
She helped to roast it in a pan.
The fourth one ground corn to make the bread.
The fifth made covers for the bed.
The sixth one brought a pumpkin by;
She cut it up to make a pie.
The seventh came and popped some corn.
The eighth fed horses in the barn.
The ninth watched the food or it might burn.
The tenth made butter in a churn.
Pilgrim children did not play
On that first Thanksgiving Day!

~ Author Unknown


*these poems would be great to use for reinforcing ordinals


Six Little Pilgrims

There were 6 little Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Day,
And this is what I heard them say,
The first one said, "I'll have a turkey leg."
The second one said, "I'll have a boiled egg."
The third one said, "I'll have some green peas."
The fourth one said, "I'll have cranberries, please."
The fifth one said, "I'll have pumpkin pie."
The sixth one said, "I'll have cake by and by."
There were 6 little Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Day,
And that's exactly what I heard them say.

~ Author Unknown


Five Little Pilgrims On Thanksgiving Day

Five little Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Day,
The first one said, "I'll have cake if I may."
The second one said, "I'll have turkey roasted."
The third one said, "I'll have chestnuts toasted."
The fourth one said, "I'll have pumpkin pie."
The fifth one said, "Oh, cranberries I spy."
But before the Pilgrims ate their turkey dressing,
They bowed their heads and said a Thanksgiving blessing."

~ Author Unknown


Five Little Turkeys

Five little turkeys standing in a row,
First little turkey said, "I don't want to grow."
Second little turkey said, "Why do you say that?"
Third little turkey said, "I don't want to get fat."
Fourth little turkey said, "Thanksgiving is near."
Fifth little turkey said, "Yes, that's what I hear."
Then the five little turkeys that were standing in a row,
All said together, "Come on, let's GO!"

~ Author Unknown


Let's talk turkey!
What a walk it's got!
Strut about, strut about,
Do the turkey trot!

~ Author Unknown

Let's be thankful for this day
For our friends and for our play
Let's give thanks for you and me
And our home and family.

~ Author Unknown


(tune:  All Around the Mulberry Bush)

A turkey is a funny bird,
His head goes wobble, wobble.
And all he says is just one word,
"Gobble, gobble, gobble."

The children sit in a circle and the "turkey" walks around the outside of the circle.  He wobbles his head when they sing "wobble, wobble" and then he sings the words "gobble, gobble, gobble" alone. The person he stops behind is the next turkey.  This is very popular in my K-Pre-first class.  Submitted by Cathie.  Thanks for sharing this cute activity, Cathie. :)



It's November.
It's November.

Let's give thanks.
Let's give thanks.

Pilgrims set the table.
Pilgrims set the table.

Indians brought food.
Indians brought food.

~ Author Unknown


Turkey dinner,
Turkey dinner.
Pumpkin Pie,
Pumpkin Pie.
Thanksgiving Day is coming,
Thanksgiving Day is coming,
Oh my !
Oh MY!

~Author Unknown


It's November
It's November,
Thanksgiving day,
Thanksgiving day
Family, friends and food,
Family, friends and food
Hip, Hip, Hooray!

~ Author Unknown


It's November
It's November
Let's give thanks
Let's give thanks
For all the good things
For all the good things
In our lives.
In our lives.

~ Author Unknown


*this poem can be sung to Frere Jacques


Provide a real cornucopia full of fruits, vegetables, & nuts.  Have students identify things they see in the cornucopia.  Then provide those words on cards with an accompanying picture.  Students will match words to objects.


The cornucopia at my house last Thanksgiving


Five Little Turkeys

Five little turkeys by the barn door,
One waddled off, then there were four.

Four little turkeys out under the tree,
One waddled off, then there were three.

Three little turkeys with nothing to do,
One waddled off, then there were two.

Two little turkeys in the noonday sun,
One waddled off, then there was one.

One little turkey - better run away!
Soon will come Thanksgiving Day!

~ Author Unknown


Ten Fat Turkeys

Ten fat turkeys standing in a row.
They spread their wings and tails just so.
They look to the left,
Then they look to the right.
When they strut their stuff, they're quite a sight!
But you won't get to see them on Thanksgiving Day,
'Cause one by one they'll run away! 

Ten, nine, eight, etc.

~ Author Unknown



Turkey Trot
(tune:  Hokey Pokey)

You put your right wing in,
You put your right wing out,
You put your right wing in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the turkey trot
And you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!

Additional Verses:
Left Wing
Tail Feathers
Turkey Body

~ Author Unknown

Hello, Mr.Turkey
(tune:  If You're Happy and You Know It)

Hello, Mr. Turkey
How are you? (clap, clap)
Hello, Mr. Turkey
How are you? (clap, clap)
With a wobble, wobble, wobble
and a gobble, gobble, gobble
Hello, Mr. Turkey
How are you?

~ Author Unknown

Albuquerque the Turkey
(tune: Oh My Darlin' Clementine)

Albuquerque, he's my turkey,
And he's feathered and he's fine
And he wobbles and he gobbles
And I'm awfully glad he's mine.

He's the best pet you could get yet
Better than a dog or cat.
Albuquerque, he's my turkey
And I'm awfully glad of that.

Albuquerque, he's my turkey
He's so cozy in his bed
Because for our Thanksgiving dinner,
We had scrambled eggs instead.

~ Author Unknown


Ten Days of Thanksgiving
On the first day of Thanksgiving the Natives gave to me...
a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the second day of Thanksgiving the Natives gave to me..
two turkey gobblers,
and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the third day of Thanksgiving the Natives gave to me...
three Native headdresses,
two turkey gobblers,
and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the fourth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me..
four cornucopias,
three Native headdresses,
two turkey gobblers,

and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the fifth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me...
five bows and arrows,
four cornucopias,
three Native headdresses,
two turkey gobblers,
and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the sixth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me...
six pairs of moccasins,
five bows and arrows,
four cornucopias,
three Native headdresses,
two turkey gobblers,
and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the seventh day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me.
seven Native teepees,
six pairs of moccasins,
five bows and arrows,
four cornucopias,
three Native headdresses,
two turkey gobblers,
and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the eighth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me..
eight woven blankets,
seven Native teepees,
six pairs of moccasins,
five bows and arrows,
four cornucopias,
three Native headdresses,
two turkey gobblers,
and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the ninth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me...
nine ears of corn,
eight woven blankets,
seven Native teepees,
six pairs of moccasins,
five bows and arrows,
four cornucopias,
three Native headdresses,
two turkey gobblers,

 and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch.

On the tenth day of Thanksgiving, the Natives gave to me...
ten native tom-toms,
nine ears of corn,
eight woven blankets,
seven Native teepees,
six pairs of moccasins,
five bows and arrows,
four cornucopias,
three Native headdresses,

two turkey gobblers,
and a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch!

~ Author Unknown


I don't think I'd be able to remember the sequence of for this song if I couldn't read it, so young children might have difficulties as well.  Until they'd memorized it, you could put cue cards in a pocketchart for them to use while singing it.  Sequence them as you sing going from top to bottom, or use a pointer.  The cue cards would have the number and then a picture of the item.  Afterwards, if you take the cards out and mix them up, the students could sequence the cards themselves as a pocketchart activity.  You could turn it into a math activity by having the number separate from the items.  (ex. 4 cornucopias)  The students count the items and match the correct number card to it.



tune: Oh Susannah

Oh they left their homes in England
And prepared to take a trip.
They climbed aboard the Mayflower
And sailed upon a ship.

The year was 1620 -
On a cold November day
By the shores of Massachusetts
They arrived in Plymouth Bay.

Oh the Pilgrims!
Seeking to be free!
They came here to America
For opportunity!

The first year was the hardest
But their neighbors helped them out.
They met Native Americans
With Squanto as their scout.

They helped the Pilgrims plant the crops
Of pumpkins, beans, and corn.
They shared a feast and that is how
Thanksgiving Day was born.


~ Author Unknown

Thank you, thank you, let's all sing.
Thank you, thank you for everything.
Thanks for the flowers.
Thanks for the trees.
Thanks for the sun that shines on me.
Thank you, thank you, let's all sing.
Thank you, thank you for everything.

~ Author Unknown


Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey,
Run away, run away.
If you are not careful
You will be a mouthful,
Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day!

~ Author Unknown


I am a little Indian boy
I hunt with my arrow and bow.
If I see a turkey in the woods,
Swoosh my arrow will go.

~ Author Unknown


Pilgrim Boy and Girl:   We started out painting circles of construction paper with skin tone colored paint that I mixed.  We also painted a small wooden bead like thing that was flat on one side the same color for the nose (I just happened to have these on hand from a bunch of craft stuff that another teacher donated to me).  The kids made the hat and collars from patterns that were copied onto construction paper.  After the paint was dry, we added facial features to the face with a black Sharpie.  The cheeks are made with a bingo stamp.  And of course, the girl's hair is yarn (it's a little skimpy, but I was in a hurry).  I really think if I did them again, I'd put a hat on the girl as well.  You could almost use the same pattern as the boy's, just make some minor adjustments and copy it onto white paper instead of black.


click on image to enlarge


Turkey Greeter:  This is a turkey door greeter.   I copied the turkey onto construction paper and the kids painted him.  Then they added wiggly eyes, an orange beak and a red wattle from construction paper.  His feet were cut from brown paper and attached to the body with loooong legs of twine.  I added a loop of twine on the back as hanger (put on with hot glue).  Then I used a black marker to add "Give Thanks" to the body. 


click on image to enlarge


Slice of Pumpkin Pie: Cut a paper plate into slices, paint the edge light brown for crust, inside orange for the pie. While it's still wet, sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Then top it with a cotton fluff for the cool whip. Do a pumpkin pie taste test and then graph the results.  Extend the activity by writing sentences to go with the slice of pie based on the taste test.  Ex.  I like pumpkin pie. I don't like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is good. etc.  <picture to be added>


Pilgrim or Indian Games (submitted by Libby)


1.  You'll need a small cup; put in several clam shells (clean of course and halved--not still stuck together)

The child shakes the cup and dumps them on the floor and as they are dumping they say 'in' or 'out'.  If they say 'in' then they get to keep all the shells that the insides are facing up.  The partner gets to get all the shells that the outside is facing up.  Then they count and whoever has the most gets a tally mark by their name.  Then repeat.  They are categorizing and practicing their counting in the same game.


2.  You'll need 3 moccasins and a pebble

The child hides the pebble under one of the moccasins.  The other child picks one shoe up to see if it is hiding there.  If they get it on the first try, they get to hide the pebble.

3.  You'll need several sticks from the yard about a foot long.  The child is to use their problem solving skills to see if they can get all of the sticks standing up using only the floor as a support.  (they usually make something like a tipi). It's interesting to see how they problem solve to get this chore done.

4.  Turkey hunt.  This is a group game.  Everyone sits in a circle.  Start by passing a stuffed turkey (or a picture on a paper plate will do).  When they get good at passing from lap to lap or hand to hand whichever is easier for your students, then start a Pilgrim or Indian doll (or a pic on a paper plate).  Start the second object about half way behind the turkey.  The object is to get the Pilgrim to catch up to the turkey.  It is interesting to see which kids are yelling for the turkey to go faster and which kids are yelling for the hunter to catch the turkey.


Oh, Libby ... I LOVE this last one!!! :)


Indian Corn:  Place an ear of Indian corn in a shallow pan of water.  After a few days, it should start to sprout.  If appropriate, students can record the changes that take place each day in a journal.


Thanksgiving Feast:  Many, many teachers like to "reenact" the first Thanksgiving feast (to a degree).  They have some students dress as Indians, and some dress as Pilgrims.  They serve types of foods that they think might have been served at that time, or sometimes foods that we think of as traditional Thanksgiving type foods.  I did this one year.  My students all wore their Indian "headdresses".  The teachers were dressed as Pilgrims.  We even had one parent come dressed as and Indian.


In the past, Indian braves had to earn their feathers.  So at the beginning of November, each student received a headband.  We cut out construction paper feathers of many colors.  Each time I caught one of the students doing something good, they earned a feather for their headband.  I wrote their good deed on the back of the feather with a Sharpie and stapled it to their headband.  Luckily, by the time the feast rolled around, everyone had at least one feather. :)  They got feathers for good grades, kind acts, etc.  Some of them had a LOT of feathers, others only one or two.

Feather Printable:


For the feast, we made all kinds of decorations.  We made paper bag pumpkins, place cards, paper bag turkeys, Mayflower ships, etc.  I'll see if I can find some of the pics without the students.  We served sliced turkey (lunch meat), cornbread dressing, corn, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, applesauce, pumpkin pie, and apple juice.  Probably not authentic, but the kids and parents had a good time. 


You could also add bread and have the kids make butter for it.  There are butter "recipes" and chants on Old MacDonald's Farm.


Stone Soup:  Some teachers opt for having Stone Soup rather than the Feast.  They go on the premise that the Pilgrims and the Indians shared their food with each other.  So the teachers have each student bring in one item to add to the soup.  After it's cooked in a crock pot, then all enjoy it.  It takes everyone's contribution to make a good soup.  I've seen teachers also add crackers/bread and pecan and pumpkin pie to the menu as well.


Friendship Salad:  And yet another route to take is to have Friendship Salad.  It has the same format as the soup, but you're making fruit salad instead.


Individual No Bake Pumpkin Pies: 


1 foil baking cup line (cupcake liner)

1 vanilla wafer (for crust)

Put the vanilla wafer in the bottom of the foil cupcake liner.


Mix in a small paper cup (kitchen size):

1/4 C prepared vanilla pudding

1/4 t pumpkin pie spice

1 T canned pumpkin

Stir and spoon into crust.  Top with a spoon of cool whip and a candy pumpkin.


Bulletin Board or Door Display:  Send home a large feather copied onto cardstock or construction paper along with a note describing the activity.  Have students cut the feather out and decorate it.  Encourage creativity.  When they return the feather to school, use all the feathers to form the tail of a large turkey.


Home Project:  Send a large simple turkey copied onto cardstock home with each student.  Attach a note to the family asking them to please help their child creatively decorate the turkey and return it to school.  You'll be totally surprised at some of the materials that the families will use.  I had a student cut the turkey's feet from cheese slices and cover the body with ground up dog food.  It was beautiful!  I've also had a student return theirs with real turkey feathers.


If you need a turkey pattern, the first link below for the turkey glyph is a good one to use.


Counting Sets:  Program Thanksgiving paper plates each with a number.  Provide students with small turkey pictures or other food items.  They count the correct number of turkeys or food items onto each plate according to the number.


Pocketchart Counting:  Put Thanksgiving type cut-outs in a pocketchart.  Provide students with number cards.  3x5 index cards cut in half and programmed with the numbers works well.  Students count the cut-outs on each row and place the appropriate number card on the row with the cut-outs.


Number Words Match:  I programmed small Indian notepad pages each with a number, and small tipi pages with a number words.  Students match the number to the number word.  And I know that the Wampanoags did not live in tipis, but in hut looking houses.  BUT, some Indians somewhere DID use tipis.  And if I ever see any hut shaped notepads, I'll be sure to buy and use them.


Pinecone Turkeys:  Collect one pine cone per student.  Lay pine cone on its side.  The point of the cone will be for the head.  Insert multi-colored construction paper feathers in the back of the cone for the tail.    Glue a red waddle and wiggly eyes on a gray construction paper.  Insert the head near the point of the cone.


Predictable Chart:  Have your students each complete the following sentence frame orally.


______ is thankful for ______.


Plug in their name in the first blank and have them give you a word for the second blank.  Record each sentence on pocketchart strips or chart paper.  If you do it on chart paper, you can also make sentence frames like the one above for the pocketchart.   Provide the students' names and the words they used to complete the sentences on 3x5 index cards.  The students can use the predictable chart to complete the sentence frames in the pocketchart. 


If you do the sentences in the pocketchart, then you can find clip art for each word that the students used.  Glue these onto 3x5 index cards and program the word on the bottom of the card as well.  Students can match the pictures to the words.  For more independent readers, do not program the picture cards with the words.


After the students are very familiar with the sentences, sing this song.


Let's Give Thanks

(tune: Wheels On the Bus)


Let's give thanks for all we have,

For all we have,

For all we have.

Let's give thanks for all we have,

_____ is thankful for _____.

~ Author Unknown


Turkey Napkin Holder:  This might be a cute activity to use to help decorate for your Feast or to send home with students for their own family get-together.


Paint the inside circle of a cheapy paper plate brown.  Paint around the fluted outside rim using different colors to create turkey feathers.  When dry, turn the plate over to the back and measure the distance from the edge of the plate to the center of the plate.  Measure over one half inch and crease the paper plate.  Measure over 1 inch from the crease and crease the paper plate again.  This should create a "u" shape.  The bottom flat section should be about 1 inch in size.   Create a turkey head from brown construction paper.  Add eyes and a red waddle.  Glue this to one side of the paper plate that is standing vertically (the tail feathers should be facing outward).  The bottom of the head should be even with the bottom of the paper plate crease.  This is your holder for a lightweight napkin.  Try this ahead of time to make sure your plates are study enough to be successful.  I haven't tried this activity, I just adapted it from one in Woman's Day, 1997.


Potato Turkey:  This is another cute table decoration.  Provide each student with an apple, several toothpicks, and small colorful food items such as colored mini-marshmallows, cherries, raisins, celery, etc.   Students will use the toothpicks and food items to create a turkey.  An apple can be used in place of the potato.


Tissue Turkey:  Cut out the center of a white paper plate and plate the rim of the plate brown.  Cut a turkey head and feet from construction paper and glue to the bottom of the plate.  Create the turkey's feathers by gluing on wads of colored tissue paper around the rim of the plate.  Hot glue a hanger to the back to use in hanging.


We're Thankful! Bulletin Board:  There's a cute bulletin board pattern in The Mailbox Kindergarten Oct/Nov 2000. 


Handprint Turkey:  Have each child trace around their hand on to brown construction paper.  Use a Q-tip to make a black paint dot for the eye on the thumb.   On the index finger they'll use another color paint to make two dots.  On the middle finger, another color paint and three dots.  On the ring finger 4 dots.  On the pinky 5 dots.  Then have them glue on tiny triangles for a beak and feet.  This idea was adapted from the one below.


Paper Plate Turkey:  Paint a paper plate brown.  Make feathers to attach to the back of it at the top.  Make a turkey head by drawing off an hourglass shaped head and neck.  Copy onto brown construction paper for students to cut out.  Add eyes, a beak, a red waddle, and feet.  Attach the head to the lower mid-section of the plate and the feet to the bottom.


Turkey Erase-A-Rhyme: Draw a turkey on your board or overhead.  As the student answers the rhyme, they get to erase that part of the turkey.  This rhyme was created and generously shared by Barb.

If a Pilgrim youd like to meet,

then you can erase his (feet).

If you plan to eat like kings,

then you can erase his (wings).

If hes a Tom, then hes a male.

Why dont you erase his (tail)?

Did you know his feathers are spotty?

Please erase them on his (body).

When he eats, Ive seen him peck.

Can anyone here erase his (neck)?

If you like ketchup in a bottle,

then you can erase his (wattle).

If you look there near his cheek,

then you can erase his (beak).

If you like homemade pumpkin pies,

then you can erase his (eyes).

If you like honey on your bread,

then you can erase his (head).


Thanksgiving Card Away:  Another neat activity created and shared by Barb.

This is kind of like an Erase-A-Rhyme, only you use cards instead of drawing. Make the cards with the pictures on one side, and the words on the backs. Display them in a pocket chart, on a magnetic easel, or chalkboard ledge...whatever. Play "Card Away" by having the children identify the rhyming word and come up to remove the card at the appropriate time. You can play again, only this time display the cards with the WORD showing (instead of the picture) and let them try to find the correct word.

You'll have to decide whether you want to call it "stuffing" or "dressing," depending on the vernacular in your area. I was able to find clipart at MS Clipart Gallery for everything except the stuffing/dressing.

Look at little brother, acting so "jerky."

Please pass him a piece of (turkey).


Look at Mom, saying the blessing.

Please pass her the plate of (dressing).


Look at Mom, huffing and puffing.

Please pass her the plate of stuffing.


Look at Cousin David, home from the Navy.

Please pass him the bowl of (gravy).


Look at the Baby, he's so cross.

Please pass him the cranberry (sauce).


Look at Aunt Helen, she's allergic to tomatoes.

 Please pass her the mashed (potatoes).


Look at Grandpa, with his head so shorn.

Please pass him an ear of (corn).


Look at Big Sister, in her brand new jeans.

Please pass her some yummy green (beans).


Look at Dad, cheering for the Seminoles.

Please pass him the basket of (rolls).


Look at Uncle John, starting to droop.

Please pass him a bowl of (soup).


Look at my dad, wearing his suit.

Please pass him a piece of (fruit).


Look at me; it's no surprise!

I am waiting for the (pies)!

PS...For the cranberry sauce, I used a picture that was actually
jelly, but looks like cranberry sauce!

printable pictures for Thanksgiving Card Away, all furnished by Barb.  (prints on legal size paper)

Thanks Barb for sharing your neat ideas! :)                 page 1             page 2

Zoo Pal Pilgrims & Indians: They are just too precious.  The students had lots of help completing theirs.  They basically did the painting, but not even all of that.  You turn the Zoo Pal plate upside down and turn it to the back.  I freehanded all the hair for them to paint.  I created different kinds of hats and headband patterns.  The paint is  tempra; I just mixed the skin tone colors. I drew the hair off for them with a pencil and they painted it over the other paint. That's why I chose darker colors for the hair. The noses are things that were given to me years ago and I don't know what they're called. They're like round wooden beads, but they're flat on one side. Perfect for this. We painted them to match the skin tone. The "rosy cheeks" were made using a red bingo stamper.  The Pilgrim girl's bonnet is just a strip of white paper folded in half and hot glued to the plate using a thick stream of hot glue.  It sticks out 3-D.



Turkey Take-Home Project:  This was a take-home project.  Each student took a feather home to decorate and return.  The decorated feathers were used to create the turkeys tail.  We have extra feathers decorated to use for filler.  There's lots of filler on this turkey since several of my students did not return their feathers and I don't have that many students.  Karen emailed with another idea of having the family make a list of things that they're thankful for as well, to coincide with their Character Education program.





The Mayflower:  The design for this ship came from TLC Art, but we do our project differently than what they recommend.  The students are given the pieces to cut out and glue into place after seeing one modeled.  A lot of help was given to these students by the sub TA.




Math: A second grade teacher emailed me and wanted a math activity around turkeys.  So I created this activity.   Give each student a turkey body and let them purchase the feathers for it.  You can sell different color feathers for different prices.  If you want to extend the activity, have supplies for sale too and let them decorate their turkey feathers!

Our second grade kids are working on dimes and pennies right now, so I'll use that as an example.  Put each color feather in a different basket and label each basket 10 cents.  You could make white, black, brown, and gray feathers worth 7 cents each.  Give each student 8 dimes and 20 pennies in a snack size zipper bag.  Allow them to come up and purchase what they need with their money ... maybe two or three at a time.  They'd have to figure up how much money they needed to give you and using the least amount of coins ... say for 87 cents.  Then they'd have to count their money out for you.  There will be pennies left over, so they could even share the extras so that someone else could get another feather if they'd like.  That would work well with the "friendship" part of Thanksgiving.

 It would probably be even better if you let one of the kids be the clerk and that would leave you to supervise everyone.  You will need something for the others to be doing while they're waiting their turn ... maybe a turkey practice sheet on counting money (let them color the feathers according to how much money is on each feather). 

You can also extend the activity by selling additional items to decorate the turkey or feathers with.  Then they'd have to decide if they wanted feathers or decorations more, OR you could give them some extra money.  Maybe those who finished their practice sheet and did it correctly would get extra money to spend.  A neat addition would be using one of those little cash registers that they make and it would also be a place to store "some" of the incoming money. 




The pumpkin pies that I made last Thanksgiving for my family were delicious and fun to make. 




Other Resources:


The Mouse on the Mayflower video

The Berenstain Bears' Thanksgiving

SCHOOLDAYS, Nov/Dec/Jan 1987-1988 Thanksgiving Math





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Turkey Glyph


Thanksgiving Information and Activities on the Internet




The Pilgrims and Indians


Billy Bear's Happy Thanksgiving


Kids Domain Thanksgiving


Annie's Thanksgiving Welcome Page


Plimoth Plantation


ABCs of the First Thanksgiving






Thanksgiving Crafts (and more)


An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving


Preschool Education Music & Songs - Thanksgiving


Pilgrim Fact Cards


Perfect Pies file folder game


Turkey Lurkey! Color Match (file folder game)


Ship Shape (file folder game)


Thanksgiving Turkey Sticker Chart


Teaching Kids the World Diversity of American Indians


The First Thanksgiving: A Feast of Activities


ProTeacher! Seasonal and Holiday Lesson Plans for November - Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids


Thanksgiving Word Searches, Crosswords, and Math Worksheets!


I Am Thankful (printable)


Silly Turkey (for kids online)




Turkey Ideas


The Thanksgiving Story


Thanksgiving Feast


Paper Plate Pilgrim


Thanksgiving Games


Thanksgiving Poems and Songs




November Ideas


Pilgrim Hat for Boys


Pilgrim Hat for Girls


All About Turkeys for kids and teachers









last updated 11.15.09


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