Saturday, November 17, 2012

Turkey Fun On the Run

My students loved this game and it is a great way to continue to review those kindergarten sight words that they still need to practice. When they go on break they often come back with very little memory of these crucial words. I should send a version home for parents to play and keep!
More and less is a challenging concept that is clear as mud to little ones. I made this very concrete version for students which they loved to play! Just slam a turkey or Pilgrim on a card and they are convinced it has to be fun!
The concept of more and less shows up in our math program right around this time of year and our kids struggled with this so much. So I tried to make it more concrete for them and using Thanksgiving graphics to convince them it was so much fun. This is perfect to do in collaborative groups to meet CCSS standards so I am showing this to my kinder teachers.

My BFF teachers next door to me last year showed me this idea last year and it is such a keeper. I adored it since I make headbands for everything possible. This is the best trick I have ever seen and you need to remember it! It's a real keeper!

These are my Thanksgiving retelling cards that I use in a pocket chart to build a flow map of the story. I practice it with the kids for several days and then move on to the bracelet activity that Dr. Jean taught me, right before they leave for vacation. Click here for my cards.

Please try this pumpkin activity if you have never done this. 
1. Scoop out the pumpkin but leave the seeds in the bottom.
2. Add soil to the pumpkin, filling it to the top.
3. Water it and leave it in the sun.
4. It will grow very quickly and your students can use a science journal to record 
    the results. It was a huge hit in my room. 
This is not my idea. I found it on another blog called Growing In Pre- K. You can see her fabulous version here. Can you think of a better way to teach the life cycle of a pumpkin? My teaching friends did this for the first time this year and adored this project. 

I have used the retelling bracelet that Dr. Jean created for many years now. However, I found that my English Language learners needed more support because the language of the story is so demanding. Finally, about six years ago I simplified the language a bit, created the flow map cards to practice the story whole group, and came up with a little strip book to support their learning. You can find it here.Why was this such a big hit? My kids could go home and tell the story to their parents at their own Thanksgiving table and feel so successful. A big shout out goes to my friend Dr. Jean who understands young children and their developmental needs better than anyone I know! Visit her blog if you are a kindergarten teacher and you will truly learn from her.
She has a more difficult version for first grade or for students who can handle more complex language.

Finally, these are packets I have created to support their learning at this time of the year. In Turkey Leftovers I have included an emergent reader that is a poem that you can also sing and is precious. Sparkle Readers #5 have a turkey reader about the food we eat at our Thanksgiving meal and focuses on beginning sounds. These are all at my TpT store and at Teachers Notebook. They can be used after vacation too as you get ready for your winter curriculum. Click here for T is for Turkey.
This is a card I created this year for students to make. They pick out the pictures that reflect what they are grateful for. I love the great conversations you can have around this! I think it is so important that we stop and remind each other of how grateful we are for all that we are blessed with. I have posted this before but if you still want to grab it you can find it here.
I love teaching about this holiday, making the costumes, cooking cranberries, creating pasta necklaces and all the other projects. What are some of your favorite activities to do? 

I got this idea off of Pinterest and completed the whole thing in just a couple of hours. I sent the Hubs out to find Bugles and Runts and he finally had to look on the internet for them. Wal-mart has these but ran out so he went to Walgreen's and hit it big. The man was my hero and they were so cute. I brought them to school on Friday and was super popular that day! Hint: bring treats to work to feel the love. Here is a set of these labels so you can be everyone's favorite teacher. Click here.
Leave a comment and share!
Have a wonderful holiday with your family. It is so well deserved.


Heather said...

Lots of wonderful, creative ideas!! Thanks for sharing!

Heather (

Learning with Mrs. Brinn said...

Love the growing pumpkin sprouts in the pumpkin! Your thanksgiving freebie looks adorable! Thank you!
Learning With Mrs. Brinn

Kindergarten Myles said...

We used your I Am Thankful strip book this week. I gave my kinders the set with the blanks and let them fill in. They picked three. Some of them chose to describe "warm" clothes and "good" food while others wrote "my" or "the". It was a great option for my ELLs and ones with fine motor issues. Fun, too.
We also made thanksgiving retell bead necklaces but ours were different. I used it as a summative assessment in small groups. They worked through the story with me. Some groups decided to add deer and fish beads. They all were able to decide to add more than one for the ocean voyage and snowy winter to show the importance. Your strip booklet is a cute addition for them to retell.

Holly said...

I love adding soil to the pumpkin! It really illustrates that the seeds from inside fruit produce new fruit! Question - did you varnish or protect the pumpkin shell so it wouldn't/didn't rot? With my luck I'd get a rotting pumpkin! I am definitely doing this! THANKS for sharing. :)

Basia said...

I've done the story bracelets before. wonderful language experience. Would luv a copy of your book that goes with it for my 8 ELL's.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! Thank you!

Fran Kramer said...

The book is in my TpT store as a freebie. Just click on the link friend.

School Sparks Renee said...

Thanks for so many wonderful ideas. I love the rubber band and brad trick!! I bet those headbands stay on better, too! Renee

Mrs. Ellsworth said...

Thank you so much for this activity! I am not seeing a link for the retelling cards for the pocket chart.

Sherry Andrighetto said...

I am thankful for you! I was a stay at home mom for 16 years and now I am back in the classroom. I found you last year and since I had to start all over again from scratch, your blog has been a life saver! I love all your ideas and one day I hope my blog is nearly as good as yours. I have so much to learn.
Thank you so much and Happy Thanksgiving!
Sherry Andrighetto

Kerbi Hale said...

I am so glad I stumbled across your post! I was preparing to teach the original version of Dr. Jean's poem to my kinders, but feared it would be too difficult! I love your revised version and the little booklet to support learning. Thank you so much for sharing!!! I was interested in the retelling cards, but couldn't get a link to show up; is it somewhere else on your site? Thanks so much!

Amy said...

You have such great ideas! Thanks for sharing! I was just wondering where I can find the flow cards for the first Thanksgiving. It says "Click here for my cards." But there's nowhere to click. :( I think they are so great and would love to use them next year.

Amy said...

I had the same problem as Kerbi. I'd love to use them next year.


MsJess said...

These activities look like fun!

I have to say, I love the headband idea... I have spent so much time tying and re-tying head bands and masks - wish I'd thought of this years ago! :)