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November 17, 2015 Thanksgiving Fun in the Classroom By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Have Your Own Thanksgiving Feast!

    I love November. It’s the month my students and I get to have our Thanksgiving feast — something I look forward to each and every year. I like to include my students' families by inviting them to join us. (They "gobble up" stuff like this!) It's also a fun and easy way for me to express my own personal thanks and gratitude to these families for all that they do throughout the year to make my job easier.

    If you would like to have your own Thanksgiving celebration in your classroom, please feel free to follow these steps and use these resources and — enjoy!

     

    Sending Out Invitations 

    This invitation is all you need to be on your way to a fantastic feast!

    I send out invitations to our families to join us in our commemoration of the First Thanksgiving. The invitation also works as a donation form as I ask each family to tell me what they would be willing to contribute. After I receive all the completed forms, I compile a list to confirm what each family will actually be bringing. I generally have no trouble getting people to donate items — in fact, our feast is usually just as good as the dinner I serve my own family on Thanksgiving Day!

     

    Getting Ready for Your Feast

    • Turkeys, Turkeys, and More Turkeys!

    I can't help but smile when I walk past these adorable turkeys!

    It's always fun to get ready for our feast by learning about turkeys and making sure our room is ready for our Thanksgiving celebration. As a parent myself, I really enjoy seeing my own child's work hanging up in their classroom. If you would like to do this Don't Eat Me writing project with your class, CLICK HERE

    Turkey Trouble is a great book to read aloud to your class on the day you do the "Don't Eat Me" writing/craft project. The cute story is about a turkey who is in trouble — bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving . . . and he's the main course. We had a blast brainstorming our favorite foods that we could eat for Thanksgiving and then making little signs to go with our turkeys.

    • Anchor Charts

    Anchor charts are an easy and effective way to support learning in the classroom. My students use anchor charts as a resource for their writing all the time. This is a fun little anchor chart that we built together that highlights what turkeys Can, Have, and Are.  

    • Pilgrims

    What would Thanksgiving be without Pilgrims? The Pilgrims were so thankful for the help they received from the Native Americans during their first year in America. We talk a lot about being thankful in kindergarten, and there is no better time than Thanksgiving to talk about and write about those things we are grateful for. It's so important to teach kids about gratitude for all they have in their lives. The writing paper I use for this project gives my students the opportunity to write some out the sight words we are learning in class, along with what they are thankful for. 

    Melt.My.Heart. I am beyond proud of my kinders' writings.

    • Making Placemats for the Big Day

    Simple projects like making placemats really help to create a festive environment for your feast. Parents love them and my students can't wait to take them home and use them on their very own dinner tables! I would recommend laminating them before you use them at the feast, as you wouldn't want dribbles and spills to ruin these adorable mats. Here are two versions that my kinders have made throughout the years:

     

    The smiles on the faces of my little Pilgrims and Natives Americans make it worth the work that goes into preparing for our Thanksgiving feast. My heart is full and I am thankful for the many wonderful memories I have been able to share with my students and their families throughout the years. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast as much as I do ours!

    Their smiles say it all!

    Additional Resources

    Click HERE for lessons aligned to Common Core State Standards for teaching your students about the first Thanksgiving.

    Here are some other Thanksgiving ideas from my Top Teaching blogger buddies:

    I am thankful for my family, students, and for each and every one of you! Thank you for following me on this adventure where I get to share what I love doing each and every day! Have a happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you and YOUR LITTLE TURKEYS (insert smile here!) have a lot of fun celebrating!

    Don't forget to subscribe to my blog on Scholastic if you would like to get my latest posts delivered right to your inbox. And for an added Thanksgiving treat, give yourself a discount off of anything in the Scholastic Store with this coupon!



     

    Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

    Shari

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Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2