Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Day Ideas to File!

I debated on writing this post because Thanksgiving is over and we're moving on to the winter season next week, but Wednesday was such a great day in my classroom that I just had to blog about it. We spent the entire day working on turkey ideas from my Turkey Unit for Big Kids pack. Let's be honest... the day before a holiday break can be exhausting, but we stayed busy all day long.

We started by wrapping up my Thanksgiving word work/spelling contract freebie. I require my students to work the activities in order on the holiday sets, so most of them were ready to draw Thanksgiving pictures and hide their words inside.

Then we rolled into my synonym/antonym activity. It's a challenging coloring sheet that requires students to look up new words in the dictionary. I had them write the page numbers beside each feather before coloring the words to prove they actually looked up the words. Not only are they practicing word work and dictionary skills, but they're picking up "wonderful words" for writing workshop.

After that, we wrapped up our tricky turkey stories from my pack. They were hilarious! One student pretended to be dead, complete with tire tracks, as a crumbled mess in the middle of his gravel driveway. The farmer obviously didn't want a smashed turkey for Thanksgiving so the turkey was able to escape. Another student disguised her turkey as the farmer's wife and left to go shopping. ha!

By now it was time for reading workshop. I saved my turkey mini book for last because I knew the students would love it. They were so impressed to read a book written by me, a real live author. ;) 

After that, I used the "Thankful Turkey" page from my pack in a new way. We cut the turkey out, glued him into construction paper, and labeled him with captions. This tied in perfectly to our nonfiction text feature unit from last week.

After lunch and recess, we came back in to dessert. We used my cookie recipe to make these super cute turkeys. I love that students have to follow directions and visualize to make it come together.  

That didn't take us the entire hour, so we had time to finish my task card scavenger hunt that we started earlier in the week. Those higher-order thinking skills are tough, but my students are really starting to catch up. I'm excited to try my Sledding Into Winter task cards soon because I think they'll be so much easier with for my students after practicing with the turkey ones.  

By now it was 2:00 and we only had an hour to go. The day was flying! We put together a thankful craftivity. I brainstormed it on the way to work, so mine wasn't quite finished as an example (poor guy needs a face!), but the students still did a great job. I had them write little notes stating what they were thankful for this year. I suggested they try to write one for each family member first, and then add extra ideas if they had time. 

We folded those ideas up and put them inside brown paper bags. Then we turned the bags into turkeys by folding them over and stapling the bags shut. I had students trace their shoes as the turkey body and then decorate it with markers and construction paper scraps. (My foot was a little too big, so I just went with a free-form shape.) They were adorable! This was a new project that I'll definitely be doing again. I'm also going to update my turkey unit to include patterns for it to use next year.

Finally, we finished the day with a mini-snack Thanksgiving. I made polka dot pancakes for my class the day before and then invited them to bring in a favorite snack to share with the class. We had tons of cookies, Combos, pumpkin bread, popcorn, candy, and even pickles. We shared what we were thankful for and enjoyed our snack feast together.

Here's another idea to file-- how cute is this little math craftivity turkey? It's a color coding craft that requires students to solve math problems first. Sneaky, sneaky.

Wednesday will definitely go down as one of my favorite days because it was full of educational thematic fun. I can't wait to do it again! I'm already planning another one for Christmas. Elves? Reindeer? Penguins? We'll see... =)
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  1. Wow Christi!! So many schools were off on Wednesday, but I'll bet your kiddos were so glad to be at school. Great ideas and I have them all filed away for next year!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love your turkey day file. Looking forward to checking out your Christmas one to purchase.


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