These thanksgiving crafts, activities, centers, and STEM projects will keep preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students engaged during the month of November! I’m also sharing costume and more fun ideas!
Thanksgiving is the Perfect Time of Year
I just love this time of year! The weather is FINALLY cooling down, my kindergarten students are starting to really get the hang of things, and I’m seeing some major progress with what they are learning!
We like to schedule our pumpkin patch field trip for the day after Halloween. We find November to be less crowded and its the perfect school day activity with all of those sugared-up kids!
My daughter, Aniston, and I had these coordinating shirts made for the occasion!
Thanksgiving Whole Class Sorting and Labeling Activity
I like to kick off the season with this adorable labeling activity. We begin by reading about the first Thanksgiving. I’m aware that there has been a lot of controversy over how to discuss this event in history. I try to be careful about how I talk about it with my students.
In the end, there really was a 3 day feast that the Native Americans were invited to so we spend time sorting present day Thanksgiving pictures and past.
Labeling is such a good pre-reading and writing skill so I love the way these extra large tables really drive home the concept.
Time for Thanksgiving
All of the activities I’m discussing today are from my Thanksgiving packet on TPT. You can find this 180 page resource to help you by clicking on the cover below.
Thanksgiving STEM Challenge
This STEM project is so much fun! Students are challenged to build a Thanksgiving table. Advanced students receive more pieces of food. There are planning and reflection sheets included along with the most adorable pieces for dinner!
My students have a lot of fun working with a friend on this one.
I love how each student sees things so differently.
Some just work on tables while others will try to build benches and chairs for their tables.
This little boy had an interesting approach! In the end, he was able to fit several pieces of food on it.
My daughter had a goal of making the longest table possible!
One thing I love about STEM projects is how some of your advanced students will really go through a productive struggle while others can visualize and plan the project easily. STEM gives everyone a chance to shine!
This table is from last year’s group. Last year the students colored their pieces of food before cutting them out. I just know your kids are going to love this challenge!
Have you read Karma Wilson’s books about Bear? I’ve linked to my favorite books on Amazon. These are affiliate links which means if you purchase, I earn a small percentage to keep this blog going!
I affectionately refer to them as the “Bear Books”. Bear Snores On is the first in the series but there are so many good ones! Bear Stays up for Christmas is another really good one if you are starting to prep for December. If you don’t have them yet, I encourage you to start a collection!
Anyways, I LOVE using these books to teach about verbs. Karma Wilson is a master of using beautiful language and the verbs have so many shades of meaning to them. I like to ask students to act them out as I read the books. This one called Bear Gives Thanks is perfect for this time of year!
Do you have these I Can statements yet? This is one of my best-selling resources for kindergarten and first grade teachers. You can find them for Florida or Tennessee or aligned with Common Core standards. They have a student-friendly I can statement at the top, the full standard for teacher reference at the bottom, and an adorable picture to go along with it. They come in color or black and white and I’ve recently added EDITABLE pages! We use them daily in our classroom!
Thanksgiving Number Recognition, Number Words, and Fine Motor Practice
I like to make this turkey sample for my students using the pieces from my Thanksgiving packet. We work on writing number words and the numbers on the feather. The kids love building their turkeys and they look so cute in the hall!
Do you read Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano to your students?
Hide the Turkey STEM
You’ll find one more STEM project included in the packet that asks students to hide poor turkey. They love this one and your students can create all of it with some scrap fabric, craft sticks, and clothespins!
Turkey Handprint Craft
I loved making these turkey handprint crafts with my kids. Cut a piece of cardstock in half, paint their hands brown, and allow the handprints to dry. Before long, you can add the rest of the turkey using permanent markers. Use hot glue to add feathers and a ribbon to the top so you can hang these. I think they are so adorable! I got this idea from Michelle Hudgens from the blog Smitten with First. Let me just go ahead and warn you that the feathers will shed everywhere but it was so worth it!
My Little Turkeys
We decided to dress up as little turkeys. These feathers were cut using a die-cut in our workroom. We added a line of glue and let the kids sprinkle glitter on top. Aniston is modeling for you above!
We let the students color sentence strips and then we assembled the headbands for them using a stapler.
My assistant found some brown bags from a local grocery store. She paid $3.00 for around 20 of them. She cut out large white circles and smaller black circles to be the eyes, orange beaks, and red wattles. We let the kids assemble the faces however they liked. I wish I could show you each of their costumes. Even though they had the same pieces, they all came out a little differently.
Aniston’s Grandpa Mickey and little sister came to eat with her. Each student presented their parents with the handprint keepsake during the lunch!
I seriously couldn’t take how cute my daughter looked! As you can imagine, all 18 of my kids were absolutely adorable waddling down the hall in these!
Aniston liked her costume so much that she wanted to wear it for the family thanksgiving. She made one for Heidi too!
I had a good laugh when I handed this book and cassette tape to my student teacher because she was so confused about how to play it! I guess I forget how old I am! Seriously though, this book is so cute. It’s one of my very favorite books for this time of year. The audio version is so good too! Maybe you can find it on an updated version that is NOT on cassette tape! 🙂
Home Depot and Lowes Kids Workshop
On a side note, have you taken your kids to do the Home Depot and Lowes Kids Workshops yet? The Home Depot ones are on the first Saturday of the month. There is also an extra one on the Saturday after Black Friday. They don’t advertise this one as much so many people don’t realize it! You can head here to read an old blog post about these!
Lowes is testing out doing the projects again in select areas. In our neighboring town, they are having them on the second Saturday of the month. I just LOVED the little turkey photo frames they made. (The girls are into silly faces. Can you tell?) Both Lowes and Home Depot present you with aprons and the project. You collect pins with each project at HD and iron-on badges with each project from Lowes. Lowes also sent us home with goggles. These are a must do for your classroom.
You can also ask them to donate extra projects to your classroom or conduct kids workshops at your school. I’ve had them do both for mine!
Poinsettias for the Whole Class on Black Friday! – A Lesson on Kindness
Speaking of Home Depot, I always purchase around 40 poinsettias there for $1 each on Black Friday. I let each student write a card (free in my TPT store) to someone who has helped them this school year. They hand-deliver the poinsettias and it has become quite the tradition in my school. Head here to read more about it!
Turkey Wobble Freebie
Are you ready for the FREEBIE yet? I just know your students are going to love it! We use these cards to put the song in order and practice saying it first.
When everyone knows the song pretty good, we begin the game. I call one student up and sing “Hey Little Buddy, do the Turkey Wobble!” They have to dance around a little. Then they sing to the turkey container “Hey Turkey, Turkey, what letter did you gobble?” If they pull a letter card, they have to tell what letter it is. You can also ask them to make the sound or come up with words that begin or end with that sound. I differentiate it based on each student’s prior knowledge.
If the child chooses a turkey card, they have to do the wobble. I usually ask them to “flap their wings” and wobble in a circle for this. They always erupt in giggles watching their friends do the turkey wobble!
Head over here to grab your FREE turkey wobble game!
I hope you enjoy some of these activities with your students! Let me know if you can use these ideas in your classroom or with your little ones!
Happy Teaching & Mommy-ing this week friends!