Home >> A Earlychildhood >> Newsletters >> Early Childhood Newsletter Archive

Search form


Home > Early Childhood Newsletter Archives > Early Childhood Newsletter


Volume 6, Issue 18
November 10, 2008
Theme: Let's Talk Turkey! (Thanksgiving)


Copy the poem below onto a sheet of easel paper. Read it aloud several times to students, tracking the text as they follow along and listen. Then conduct a shared reading experience. Read the first question of each stanza aloud, and help children answer by reading the second line.

It's Thanksgiving!

Where is the stuffing you wait for all year?
On its way from the oven, let's all cheer!

Where is the corn from stalks straight and tall?
In a big bowl, to be eaten by all.

Where are the potatoes dug from the ground?
Mashed up with butter … plenty to go 'round.

Where is the pumpkin that grows on the vine?
Whipped up in a pie that tastes sweet and fine.

Where are the children who came out to play?
Home eating dinner on Thanksgiving Day!

Everyone at Education World wishes you and your students a Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan LaBella
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter



Read to the class Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks by Kate Waters. Then lead a class discussion; ask each student to name one thing for which he or she is thankful. Record on chart paper each student's sentence as follows:

I am thankful for __________.
(Add student's name at the end of his/her sentence.)
When sentences are complete, invite each child to read aloud his or hers. Finally, encourage each student to copy his or her sentence onto a sheet of drawing paper and illustrate it.

Give each child a five-inch circle of tan, brown, or black paper and a three-inch circle of yellow paper. Have students paste the smaller circle onto the larger, overlapping the edge slightly. (The larger circle represents the turkey's body; the smaller circle represents its head.) On the yellow circle let students draw eyes and a nose. They can also paste on a red triangle for a wattle. Finally, invite students to paste dried leaves onto the larger circle to create "tail feathers."

Explain to children that when the Pilgrims first arrived in Plymouth, Native Americans taught them how to plant and grow corn. The Pilgrims were thankful for the corn they grew and gave thanks for it at their harvest feast. To emphasize the importance of corn and reinforce counting, let children try this activity. On a large sheet of heavy stock paper create a bingo-type grid with nine or twelve squares. In each square draw an empty basket. Next to each basket write a number. (You may want to laminate this chart.) Provide a handful of candy corn and have a child count out as many corn pieces as the number that is shown in the square and place them "into" the basket.

Have children use brown tempera paint to paint one of their palms and fingers. Each child should then carefully press his or her entire palm -- with fingers spread out -- onto a piece of yellow or orange construction paper. After children wash their hands, let each child use a brush to paint a turkey neck and head onto the end of the print of his or her thumb. Children can use black paint to add eyes and a beak. Then give children a copy of this poem, which they can glue onto the paper with their hand turkeys.

Thanksgiving Day was very near,
Tom Turkey felt a certain fear.
He ran out of the barnyard gate,
Hoping to dodge an awful fate.

As Tom ran quickly past the bay,
Some people thought they heard him say,
"I'll be very far away - so-o-o…
Have pizza on Thanksgiving Day!!"

Children will enjoy these holiday snacks. Try either one or both!
  • Mix about a tablespoon of pumpkin pie mix with a bit of Cool Whip. Spread the mixture between two cinnamon graham crackers and freeze -- yum!
  • Purchase plain donut holes (not powdered). Frost some of them with chocolate frosting and some with peanut butter. Roll the frosted side of each donut into crushed pretzels. Then push a small piece of fruit leather into the top for a stem -- an acorn treat!



Check out the following Web sites for additional background and activities.

The First Thanksgiving
This is a wonderful site complete with streaming videos of the Mayflower voyage, the Pilgrims' lives in Plymouth, and the harvest feast.

Thanksgiving Classroom Feast Ideas
There are loads of good ideas here, including snack ideas and Thanksgiving reading suggestions.

Try some of the songs and poems featured here.

Our Thanksgiving Words
Use this handy printable of Thanksgiving words and pictures to supplement your unit.

Thanksgiving Snacks
You may want to try some of these snack suggestions for a Thanksgiving celebration.