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HS Thanksgiving Traditions

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

Interest Area Changes to Environment

Cornucopia Pictures of Turkeys in habitat Pictures of Turkeys cooked Feathers Placemats Fruits and Vegetables Turkey Turkey Cookie Cutters

Teaching Concepts for Large Group

1.  What are family traditions? 2.  What is Thanksgiving? Why do we celebrate? 3.  When was the first time Thanksgiving was celebrated Nationally? The first time Thanksgiving was celebrated nationally was in 1789, when President George Washington made Thursday, Nov. 26, a holiday. In1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared that the fourth Thursday of November would be celebrated as Thanksgiving. 4.  How do we celebrate Thanksgiving now?

Teaching Concepts for Small Group

1. Turkey Headbands - Have the children cut paper strips to make a headband out of. They make glue, staple or tape the headband together. Provide the children with feathers, glitter, sequins or other materials for them to decorate the headband with. You can write “Turkey Suzy” on the headband. 2.  Turkey Feather Painting - Provide each child with a feather, paint and paper. Ask the children paint a picture using the feather as a paintbrush. 3.  Turkey Feather Game - Find a picture of a turkey that you like. Make six copies of it. Cut out the bodies of the turkeys (so you just have to add the feathers to make the turkey complete). Write the number “one” on the first turkey, two on another; repeat with the numbers three through six. Provide the children with twenty-one feather shapes, cut from construction paper or store bought craft feathers. Ask the children to place the appropriate number of feathers on each turkey. One feather on the turkey with the number one it… and so on. 4. Feather Sorting - Cut out several different feather shapes from construction paper or provide the children with store bought craft feathers (can be used the above activity as well). Ask the children to sort the feathers according to color. Ask the children “How many red feathers do you have?” etc.

Teaching Concepts for Music Movement Wellness IMIL

1.  Turkey Foot Hop - Cut out many turkey footprint shapes from construction paper and affix them to the ground with contact paper. Have the children hop from one shape to the next. You could also play the song “bunny hop” and have the children gobble and hop from shape to shape. 2.  Musical Turkey Feet - Cut out many turkey footprint shapes from construction paper and affix them to the ground in a circle with contact paper. It is better to have more shapes than children. Play music and have the children walk around the circle. When the music stops they find a turkey footprint to stand on.

Teaching Concepts for Fingerplays

1. Ten Fat Turkeys sung to “Ten little Indians” 1 fat, 2 fat 3 fat turkeys, 4 fat, 5 fat, 6 fat turkeys 7 fat, 8 fat 9 fat turkeys 10 fat turkeys ready for Thanksgiving 2.  I’m a Little Turkey sung to “I’m a Little Teapot” I’m a little turkey short and fat I have many feathers spread out like that (hold hands with firngers spread) When Thanksgiving feast comes my way I will hide and run away. 3.  Five Little Turkeys Poem Five little turkeys on Thanksgiving Day One got scared and ran away. Four little turkeys playing hide and seek, One turkey hid and fell asleep Three little turkeys sit near the gate One went home, it was late. Two little turkeys wonder what to do One got bored and went home too. One little turkey thought “Isn’t this great” He’s the one that’s on my plate. 4.  Five Fat Turkeys Five fat turkeys sitting on a fence. (One hand up) The first one said, ‘I’m so immense.’ (Point to thumb) The second one said, ‘I can gobble at you.’ (Pointer finger) The third one said, ‘I can gobble, too.’ (Middle finger) The fourth one said, ‘I can spread my tail.’ (Ring finger) The fifth one said, ‘Don’t catch it on a nail.’ (Little finger) A farmer came along and stopped to say (Pointer finger of other hand.) Turkeys look best on Thanksgiving Day.

Teaching Concepts for Outdoor Experiences

1.  Duck, Duck, Turkey (the same as Duck, Duck, Goose) 2.  Turkey Trot 3.  Pin the feather on the turkey (just like pin the tail on the donkey).

CLASS Concepts

Read a variety of books about Thanksgiving, both historically accurate and fiction. Ask many open ended questions during the story. Example: “By listening to the title of this book, what do you think it is going to be about? What makes you think that?” “Look at the expressions on their faces. How do you think they are feeling? Is there a time that you have felt that way?” Remember to discuss the differences between fiction and non-fiction books. Provide props and/or materials for children to make their own props to reenact the story.


Teaching Concepts for Distance Learning


1. Opposites

Move in opposites. Move fast/slow, up/down, near/far, big/small.


2. Simon Says

The teacher will give the action directions, while the students participate. If the children miss the action cue "Simon Says" then they are out. Keep going until you have a winner.


Have some of your favorite stories read to you by movie stars.


4. Farm Fresh 360-Virtual Field Trip

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