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Thanksgiving placemats: A community-service project



  • Arts & Humanities 
    --Visual Arts
  • Social Studies


  • Pre K
  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief description

Work with your local shelter, food kitchen, or nursing home to brighten everybody’s Thanksgiving.



  • participate in a community-service project that makes Thanksgiving special for others.
  • create a unique work of art that will brighten the day of someone they do not know.
  • reflect on what it means to help out.


Thanksgiving, community service, placemat

Materials needed

  • art supplies

Lesson plan

On Thanksgiving Day, people often gather in groups large and small to share dinner and give thanks. Students in your school can work together to brighten the Thanksgiving holiday of people who will gather for community dinners or for those confined to home or a hospital. You can work with your local shelter, food kitchen, hospital, Meals on Wheels organization, or nursing home to create a community-service project that will brighten everybody's Thanksgiving this year.

Provide students with 12- x 18-inch white construction paper. Let each teacher use his or her own favorite Thanksgiving art project to brighten the placemats you provide to community organizations; or perhaps your art teacher will take on this project and use a variety of different projects across the grades. We have listed below links to a variety of "Fun Thanksgiving Art Projects" we found online that might be used to make colorful placemats.

Another idea: Each student might paste this simple Happy Thanksgiving sign to the center of the construction paper placemat. Students can color the sign and then decorate the borders around that sign with their favorite Thanksgiving symbols and scenes. Or they might glue or paste a variety of Thanksgiving clipart gathered from Internet sources around the placemat's borders. (See "Thanksgiving Clipart Online" sources below.)

Fun Thanksgiving art projects
One of these ideas might be used to create colorful -- and memorable -- Thanksgiving placemats.

Thanksgiving clipart online


Students might reflect in their journals about how they feel knowing that their placemats will make Thanksgiving a special day for someone in their community who they don't even know.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

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Last updated 11/04/2015