Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Unit Theme: Thanksgiving

We have spent the last 2 weeks (well, technically it's been 1.5 weeks) focusing on Thanksgiving:  the very 1st Thanksgiving, things we are thankful for, and of course....turkeys!

Theme Verse

Psalm 106:1 - Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

Thematic Books

Here are the Thanksgiving books we enjoyed reading:

History: Pocket Chart Story

To start off our unit, and after reading a couple of the above books to the kiddos, I used this simple order-of-events "pocket chart story" to go through a very basic version of the story of the 1st Thanksgiving.  We of course looked at our globe to find England and to get an idea of how far the Pilgrims had to travel to come to America.


I printed (and laminated) some clip art to use as visuals for each part of our pocket-chart story.

And, we used it as a literacy/sequencing activity for Caleb, who had to read them and figure out the order that they went in:

Geography: Map

 I made this map for the kids to color (printed a map off the computer and traced).  They added the Mayflower sailing through the ocean, and Caleb also added labels for Plymouth, England and Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts to show where the Pilgrims started and ended their journey.

Craft: The Mayflower

Using materials we already had on hand (construction paper, paper plates, paint, dowel rods, and cotton balls), the kids made these Mayflower ships.

Meredith's - Left, Caleb's - Right

Craft: Pilgrim/Indian Hats

About as easy of a project as you can paper and glue.   Caleb & Meredith thought it was just hilarious to wear these Pilgrim evidenced by their giggly pictures.

And, at co-op, they made these...Indian hat & Pilgrim Girl hat.


Once again, I just love all of the free printable resources out there!  For our Thanksgiving unit, I found printables at a few different places:1plus1plus1plus1equals1, kindergartenfever, and cupcakefortheteacher. this cute color-by-number turkey that Meredith did, found here.

 My personal favorite printables were the Roll & Color pages I found over at acupcakefortheteacher.  The kids rolled dice and would count, add, etc. to color in the circles on their papers.  I also liked that there were pages appropriate for Meredith (ie: roll 2 dice and count the total) and other ones for Caleb (ie: roll 1 dice and add 2). The graphics are really cute, and the kids love "playing" with dice.  And, they used the dot paints to fill in their circles, which is always extra fun.

 Reading/Math: Ordinal Numbers

 To help Caleb better understand ordinal numbers, as well as read the words for the ordinal numbers, I put together a couple of simple things for him.

I found this poem, called Pilgrim Children, here.  I used the text to make a mini-book for Caleb to read.


 I also put together this simple worksheet activity where Caleb had to first cutout the ordinal number words & match them to the ordinal numbers on a different page.  He then had to read directions for what color to color each turkey.

He used markers to color the turkeys...which resulted in the turkeys all but disappearing!
Turkey Color Matching

 I drew, colored, and laminated a turkey and colored the ends of some clothespins to match the colors.  Meredith enjoyed doing this, although it was so simple it took her about 30 seconds to complete every time, so too simple for her.  And all Shane wanted to do was try and break the clothespins, so not so age-appropriate for him, either.  Oh well.

Watercolor Turkeys

Corn Kernel Math

A pile of uncooked corn kernels + some Math pages = fun & simple math work.

History Comprehension/Literacy

Caleb recently learned the wh- sound, and we have been working on reading and answering questions.  He answered these 5 who, what, when, where and why questions about the Pilgrims:

Silly Turkey Song

The kids thought this was hilarious and enjoyed strutting and gobbling like turkeys.

My Turkey
(found here)
I have a turkey, big and fat
He spreads his wings, (Fan hands at hips)
And walks like that (Strut)
His daily corn he would not miss (Pretend to eat corn)
And when he walks, he sounds like this, ('Gobble, Gobble, Gobble')

Fall Sensory Bin

 This was our last week to use the Fall sensory bin...starting next week, we'll have more Christmas/winter themed items in there!

10 Fat Turkeys

 This is a fun book.  Silly pictures, silly words, silly plot.  We used the turkey picture cards as a visual to count backwards as each turkey fell off the fence in the story.

Craft: Window Turkeys


This was a fun craft for them to do...and I think they turned out pretty cute!

The body is just half of a paper plate, painted brown.

 The feathers are contact paper & tissue paper squares (with a construction paper outline).

 Googly eyes and felt complete our "fat turkeys"!


 Caleb wrote about the turkey that he made.

My turkey has lots of colurs (colors).  My turkey has lots of fethers (feathers).  It is big and fat.
 Paper Turkeys

Meredith's feathers spell out the word TURKEY.
Caleb's feathers each have a turkey fact on them, and we used this quick little craft to learn more about turkeys!
Thankful Web

 Each day, the kids added 1-2 things that they are thankful for.


And, of course, we just had to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!  Classic & Fun.  (Although I am not a fan of the use of the word "stupid" in the first 5 minutes...that's not an acceptable word in our house.  Don't worry, the kids called him out on it!)

As the kids watched the show, they feasted on the same meal that the Peanuts gang had in the story: popcorn, jelly beans (Trader Joe's carries a dye-free version that is not too pricey, yay!), pretzels, and toast.

We had to make popcorn the "old-fashioned" way, just like Snoopy does.  The kids love watching the corn pop in the pan!

Enjoying the show and their feast.

 Happy Thanksgiving!


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