Thanksgiving Curriculum Ideas

Thanksgiving is a holiday in which many stereotypes of Native Americans are unconsciously perpetuated…There are times throughout the year in which Native Americans can be talked about, and the contributions can be emphasized. A book called GIVING THANKS written by native authors is wonderful. Thanks.Lindy

Give each child a lunch bag (brown), paper plate, green construction paper, hole puncher, orange construction paper, pre cut turkey legs and brown yarn. Have the children stuff their brown paper lunch bag with crumpled newspaper. Tie with yarn. Hole punch green construction paper for peas, tear or cut orange construction paper for carrots. Glue turkey legs on side of brown paper bag. Glue bag, peas and carrots on paper plate.

One event that we hold each year is a Thanksgiving day feast. The children make invitations to take home to their family to attend the feast. The children also make homemade noodles for the chicken noodle soup that we serve the parents. We offer the feast around noon so that a lot of parents are on their lunch break at work and can attend the feast. The children make place settings for the parents and help serve the food. It brings everyone together and is really an enjoyable event. It has become a tradition at our center and everyone always looks forward to the feast.

The First Thanksgiving

Tack a long sheet of butcher paper to the wall. Tell the children the children the story of the first Thanksgiving. Let the children tell you what they are thankful for. As each child shares why they are write it on the paper. Tack the list on your classroom door for everyone to read.

Nut Game

Have different types of nuts (in shells) in a pile in front of you. Ask several children come to the pile and find all of the nuts that look the same. Sort them into pie pans. Once all of the nuts are sorted, have the children carry the pie pans to the water table for further sorting fun!

Thanksgiving Foods: Before and After

Find pictures in magazines of foods before and after they are prepared. For example: fresh cranberries and cranberry sauce, raw carrots and cooked carrots, raw potatoes and mashed potatoes, raw yams and candied yams. Glue each picture to a piece of felt. Show the children all of the pictures. Place one of the ‘before’ foods up on your flannel board. Have someone find that food ‘after’ if has been prepared. Have the child place it up on the flannel board Continue matching the before and after foods.

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.