Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giving Thanks in Kindergarten

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - it's all about family, friends, fun and food. I  love the traditions and I have so much to be thankful for. It has become more meaningful since Emi and I visited Plymoth Plantation about 10 years ago and found out more about the true history of Thanksgiving. What a great place! I love history.

Handprint crafts are always one of my favorites. I treasure all the little handprint things that Jess and Emi made when they were little. I have some up around the house and pull the others out at Holiday time. So I enjoy doing handprints with my students as well.  They have such cute little hands - each one unique -  and  I enjoy a few minutes of 1 on 1 time with them talking about random things; the fishes they saw when they went snorkeling last weekend, their favorite ride at Disneyland, camping with their family, Grandma coming from Florida to visit etc.

These Handprint Turkeys are fun and easy:
- Trace 2 handprints with a Sharpie (I do this part and the beak and feather cutting- the rest they do) - fingers open to look more like feathers - this year I used 2 of the same hand
- As the kids cut them out they often have trouble cutting between the fingers
- Glue them together with 2 Popsicle sticks for legs- I pre-cut beaks and feathers and let them choose a beak and 4 feathers the first time and then another beak and 4 feathers when they turn it over to do the other side (choosing 4 at a time makes the line go faster and is less confusing as they are working at their desks)
- Glue a beak and feathers on each side
- Use a Sharpie for eyes - that's when I introduce the word "profile" and show them why they need one on each side instead of 2 on 1 side (some kids still put 2 eyes on the same side - so cute!)

We are also making a Thanksgiving Story book. Whew!!  What a project this is turning out to be.  After reading some Thanksgiving books (and I've got tons!!) and telling them about Thanksgiving, we started in. The kids cut and glue the scrambled sentence in the right order. I go word by word for the first few pages to get the word order correct until they get the hang of it. Then most of them put the words in the right order on their own. I was pleasantly surprised. I also have my copy of the book already made (hanging in front of the class) for them to follow. They also write the page number down in the corner (got some Math in there too!). After the sentence is glued they draw a picture for that sentence.  Next year I will reverse the order - draw first then glue the words. It sometimes got messy with the excess glue. Live and Learn!!  Most of the sentences begin with "The" so it has been a great lesson for the Sight Word "the." They've really done a terrific job so far - 8 pages done and 1 page to go!!  I got this from a colleague and she got it online so thank you to whoever created it.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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