KinderGals: Thanksgiving Activities

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thanksgiving Activities

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays....good food, family, and shopping! This post has some of my favorite ways to celebrate Thanksgiving with my kinders.
Indian Corn
We made Indian Corn by making a pattern of squares on the corn shaped pattern. Then, we trimmed off the edges. We talked about Squanto teaching the Pilgrims many things. I asked them what they could teach someone. Inside  the corn, the kids wrote steps for a procedural piece.
Pilgrim Trunks
When the Pilgrims began their voyage on the Mayflower, each family was given one trunk to pack their belongings. We used a paper bag to make trunks. To make the trunk, cut the four side seams of a paper bag. Put the two side flaps and the front flap inside of the trunk. Fold the back flap down to make the lid. Add a pipe cleaner handle.
This is a great activity to teach the difference between needs and wants. We also worked on sorting pictures by food, clothing, and toys.  They put all of the pictures inside of their trunk and made a sorting book. We stapled the book in the lid of the trunk.
Five Pilgrims
We used our cabin/tree game board to make combinations of 5 with our pilgrims. I used the color version, but made a black and white version for my kids. Each child had 5 pilgrims they could manipulate as we made the combinations. I used 2 different recording sheets--one pictorial and one abstract--for my kids.
Number Line Mystery
My kids love this game! To make the game, select 4 different clip art pictures and put them each on a card. Then, using the same pictures, make cards for each set with the numerals 1-10. Lay the picture cards face up. Shuffle the remaining cards and lay them in 4 rows of 10. Invite a child to turn over a card.
Then, they move the card to the correct row and column to make the number line. They pick up the card that in is that place and move it to its correct place. Continue  until all 4 number lines are in the correct order.
Pattern Bead Necklaces
Simple is good! This is a super simple book for the children to color the beads in various colors!
Defining Thanksgiving
While working in large group, I filled out the large circle map using a shared writing. The kids helped me think of words that defined Thanksgiving. As I write them on the large circle map, the kids are filling in their paper maps. Later, in a center, the kids created the pilgrim girl or boy to hold their circle map.
Paper Bag Native American
To make the paper bag vest, simply cut off the bottom of a paper bag. Then, cut a slit in the front. Then, we used paper squares to make a pattern on the vest. The kids then added their heads and arms and legs.
Inside the bag the children put their All About Native Americans book. Each child wrote a nonfiction piece about the things we learned about Native Americans.
Mayflower Compound Words Book
Using the color clip art pictures, we matched pictures to make compound words. The children found the black and white clip art to glue into their books. Then, they drew the new compound word. Finally, we created a Mayflower to hold our compound word book.
Wishbone: Whose is Longer?
The pulling of the Wishbone is a tradition in many families.  Two people hold the ends of the wishbone and break. The one with the longest piece is going to have good luck. To play this wishbone game, invite two children to each get 10 unifix cubes and snap them together.  Say, "1,2,3 break." The two children each break their cubes in half. They lay half of their cubes on the ground and compare it to their partners cubes for longer and shorter. Then, they spin the spinner to see who wins! Longer isn't always the winner in this game!
Thanksgiving Brace Map
During a shared writing, we thought of all of the parts of Thanksgiving. You can draw or list the items on the brace map. As you are making the large brace map, invite the children to record the information on their brace maps.
Spin an _at Word
To make this simple game, I cut a hole in the pilgrim's hat. Then, I made a circle with letters around the edge. I attached the circle to the back of the pilgrim game board with a brad. Each of the letters will appear in the box as you turn the circle. The children record the _at family words on their recording page.
The Compact
The Pilgrims made a compact. The Compact were the rules they agreed to live by. We made our own compact by writing rules for our classroom.
Traveling Preference Graph
The kids love these survey graphs. We do one every week! Invite the children to walk around and survey their friends by asking the question. They tally the results. Then, they use the tally marks to make a graph. Finally, the children analyze their data.
All of the above activities came from this unit.
Turkey Phoneme Segmentation
Give each child a barn game board and 3 turkeys. Pick one of the picture cards, they are all 3 phoneme words. As the children segment the phonemes, they push one of their turkeys onto the game board.  You can also turn this into a phonics activity. Invite the children to glue down a picture. In each box, they write the letters to represent each of the phonemes. 
Eating Corn Story Problem
When doing story problems with your kids consider using manipulatives instead of having children draw their thinking. Allowing the children to "manipulate" pieces, such as these ears of corn, is working at the conceptual level. This helps the children develop a deeper understanding of the process. Once they are able to consistently explain their thinking at the conceptual level, move to drawing their responses. This is working at the pictorial level of understanding.
Drum Beat Teepee Syllable Sort
Collect a variety of Thanksgiving related clip art.  Make a step book and cut it into the shape of a teepee.  Give the children a little drum. Invite the children to select a picture.  The children hit the drum to segment the syllables. After determining how many syllables, they glue the picture on the correct page in the book.
The above activities came from this unit.
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