Along with our Thanksgiving Feast, my kindergartners used to do a little program for parents who chose to attend. We did a Reader’s Theater type play called “Hooray for Thanksgiving,” and sang a bunch of Thanksgiving songs. The children made and wore simple headbands – some were Pilgrim men, some were Pilgrim women, some were Native American Indians, and some were turkeys. It was fun and cute. I had not saved the script I used for this choral reading but I found a class performing it on YouTube and wrote it out!
Here are the songs we sang:
For each song I made picture cards for a few children to hold that went along with the song – except 10 Little Indians, the whole group sang that and acted it out. I put simple motions to the other songs – so while about 4 children stood up holding the picture cards, the rest of the class did simple motions. Every child had a chance to stand up holding a picture, even though only a few children stood up for each song, everyone sang all the songs. It was cute. Then the children all sat at a long table I made by pushing all the tables together and covering them with white paper. Parents donated food like corn muffins, popcorn, cranberry sauce, cheese & crackers, etc. I encouraged them to bring food their child likes to eat.
After the feast I sent home a copy of the words so parents could encourage the children to sing the songs at home.
Some years I made simple Thanksgiving cards using the idea of Concept books – here is the template I used.
I copied these pages back to back and folded them in half.
I also had a few writing prompts that I used sometimes. I think that children need a lot of experience writing under different circumstances. In Writer’s Workshop the children usually chose their topic, other times they wrote in response to literature, informational texts, or answering a question.
I asked the children what their families were going to do for Thanksgiving. Sometimes we made a graph comparing children who were celebrating the holiday at their house, and children who were having Thanksgiving dinner somewhere beside their own house. This could be as simple as a Yes/No graph – Are you having Thanksgiving dinner at home? Or you could list a variety of options – Grandma’s, Aunt/Uncle’s, home, restaurant, etc.
We also brainstormed what we would wish for if we got the big end of a wishbone, and drew and wrote about that.
I miss it all! It doesn’t seem like Thanksgiving because I haven’t cut or fringed a single turkey feather!