Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thanksgiving: Being Thankful - Preschool Lesson Plans

Thanksgiving themed preschool lesson plans. Arts and crafts, games, math, science, group time activities, songs and snack ideas.

Thanksgiving is most surely one of my most favorite holidays. I love sending Thanksgiving cards and the season change that comes with it. I think mostly just because of the warm memories associated with it. Family, friends and of coarse, great food. When speaking to the students at my former school, I admit, I was shocked to hear that not every Thanksgiving was like the ones I have enjoyed. I guess it was my naive, living in a bubble mentality shining through. Even the staff luncheon was a far cry from the regular foods I was used to on Thanksgiving. I'm glad to be back in Michigan, close to my mom and dad, where I know Thanksgiving will be reminiscent of the celebrations of my youth. Oh, and let's not forget the Fudge appetizers. (I know, it's a strange family tradition.)

Thanksgiving Lesson Plans - toddler, preschool and kindergarten

Some questions to pose to your little ones:
- What is Thanksgiving about? 
- What does it mean to you and your family?
- How do you celebrate? (If at all)
- What kinds of foods do you eat?
- Where do you celebrate?
- What is the best part of Thanksgiving?
- Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?
- How did it come about that we celebrate Thanksgiving?
You can pose these questions in a large or small group. Or one on one. It might be fun to record the children's answers and post them on your bulletin board or in the room.

What do you want the children to learn from this lesson?
foods commonly associated with Thanksgiving
different ways people celebrate Thanksgiving
how do other cultures celebrate the harvest
the history of Thanksgiving

The Food:
Turkey - the main event
mashed potatoes
cranberry sauce
sweet potatoes
buttered rolls
pumpkin pie

Other common foods:
green bean casserole
deviled egg
peas and carrots
apple pie
mincemeat pie
sweet potato pie
chocolate meringue pie
pecan pie
apple cider
egg nog
banana pudding
macaroni and cheese
collard greens
sweet corn relish
pumpkin soup

Different ways to celebrate
watching football
going to a parade
watching a television special
shopping (black Friday)
Thanksgiving gifting
going to a movie
day after Thanksgiving - Christmas decorating

Multicultural Harvest Celebrations:
August Moon Festival (Chinese)
Tet Trung Thu (Vietnamese)
Thanksgiving (American)
Succoth (Jewish)
Kwanzaa (African)
Pongal (Indian)
Yam Festival (African)
Chusok (Korean)

The History:
The First Thanksgiving
Wikipedia - Thanksgiving
It is thought that the first Thanksgivings were held as celebrations to thank god and enjoy the wonderful bounty of food. The Pilgrims were also thankful to the Native American Indians that taught the them how to cook and survive in the New World. 
While I think it is important to honor the Native Americans for their contributions to the survival of the immigrants, we should not turn our whole focus of Thanksgiving to a study of Pilgrims and Indians. Nor should the only mention of Native Americans, or Indians occur during Thanksgiving. 
Please check out this great link:
Resources For Non-Native Classrooms 

Books to read from

Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks 
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie 
The Story of Thanksgiving 
10 Fat Turkeys 
Five Silly Turkeys 
This First Thanksgiving Day 
Thanks for Thanksgiving
Dora's Thanksgiving 
The Perfect Thanksgiving 

Activity Books from
The Thanksgiving Activity Book 
We Gather Together 
175 Easy-To-Do Thanksgiving Crafts 
Easy-To-Do Holiday Crafts From Every... 
Family Celebrations at Thanksgiving 
Make It Now 
Learning About Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: being thankful - preschool lesson plans

Thankful Collage
Ask the children to finish the following sentence: 
I am thankful for _____________. 
Write their answer on a sheet of paper then have them draw a picture of what they are thankful for. 
You can also have them cut out pictures from magazines, use paint, crayons, or other items to create the artwork. 

I am Thankful for my Family Art 
Show your child how to make finger prints on a piece of paper. Have your child draw eyes, nose mouth and hair to create a face. Ask the children to name the people in the picture. Write the family names below each print. 

I am Thankful for my Family Art 2
Ask the children to create a paper plate face of someone in their family. Have the children draw facial features onto a paper plate to make a face. Supply the children with yarn or easter grass for hair. 

I am Thankful for my Family Art 3 
Supply the children with non-toxic bingo dabbers. Ask the child to dab a piece of paper with the dabber a couple of times. When dry, have the child add a face to the dots. Ask the child to tell you the names of the people in the family in their picture. Label the people for them. 

Thanksgiving Pictures 
Ask the parents to share pictures of their family celebrating Thanksgiving. Affix the pictures to the wall at eye level with contact paper. 

Thankful Game 
Have the children sit in a circle and they should have a bean bag or stuffed toy to pass around the circle. Have the children pass the item around the circle while they chant: 
Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, 
What am I thankful for, 
It's your turn to share with us, 
1, 2, 3, 4 
Whomever is holding the item when the chat is done should share what they are thankful for. 

I Love My Family Because.... 
Have the children finish the sentence "I Love My Family Because..." Write down the children's answers and post them on a bulletin board. 

Thank You Cards 
Have the children make thank you cards. Have the children give the card to someone special. 

Songs from 
Father, We Thank Thee 
Thank You, Lord, For This New Day 
Thanksgiving Fable, A 
Thanksgiving is Coming, Hurray! 

I am Thankful 
by chicky-ma-ma 
(sung to "Where is Thumbkin?" 
I am Thankful, I am Thankful 
Yes I am, Yes I am 
I am Thankful for my friends 
I am thankful for my kin 
Yes I am, Yes I am 
(Explain that kin is another word for family! ) 

submitted by Ms. Tricia

Thankful Turkey Headbands 
Have the children dictate three things they are thankful for and write those three things on pre-cut construction paper feathers. Have the children cut brown paper strips to make a headband out of. They may glue, staple or tape the headband together. Have the children add a little bit of glue to the bottom back of each feather and glue onto the headband. Finally, the turkey face can be added. 

Thankful Tag 
Play thankful tag, just like freeze tag. To become unfrozen, a friend has to come by and touch the frozen child and say something they are thankful for. 
For younger children, just have them say something they are thankful for to be unfrozen. 

Thankful Tree 
On your bulletin board create a tree trunk shape with brown construction paper. Label the board (your class name) Thankful Tree). Cut out several leaf shapes from construction paper. Have the children draw what they are thankful for on the leaf, then place the child's name and what they are thankful for on the leaf. Place the leaves on the tree. 

Individual Thankful Trees 
Have the children tear red, orange and yellow paper to create leaves that are big enough to write on. An adult will ask the child what they are thankful for and each answer will go on a leaf. Children can tear pieces of brown paper and glue them onto a sheet of construction paper to create a stump. Then they can add their thankful leaves. 

Paper Plate Thankful Wreath 
Have the children cut out a variety of leaf shapes from different colors of construction paper. (for younger children you can do this step) On as many leaves as you need to, write all the things the child is thankful for. Then have the child glue the leaves onto the edge of a paper plate. In the center write "(child's name) is thankful for:". 

Thankful Hand Print Tree
On your bulletin board create a tree trunk shape with brown construction paper. Label the board (your class name) Thankful Tree). Trace the children's hands onto different colors of construction paper. Have the children draw what they are thankful for on the hand shape, then place the child's name and what they are thankful for on the shape. Place the handprints on the tree. 

image submitted by Ms. Tricia

Thankful Turkeys
Students will dictate what they are thankful for. The teach will write their responses on feather shapes construction paper. The teacher or child could cut out the feathers, depending on the ability level of the student. The child's foot is traced onto brown paper and cut out to be used as the turkey's body. The child will then glue the feathers onto a piece of paper or a paper bowl. The body is glued on top of the feathers. After the glue dries, the turkey's facial features can be drawn with a pen or marker. 

Book Ideas:
Little Critter: Just So Thankful
I'm Thankful Each Day
The Most Thankful Thing
Let's Be Thankful

I can't imagine a Thanksgiving without a turkey. It's such a big part of the holiday that some people (my mom for one) call Thanksgiving Turkey Day. So no Thanksgiving Unit would be complete without a tribute to the main event, the yummy TURKEY!!!

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

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