How in the world are we already at the end of the first trimester and rollin’ into Turkey Break? I know I ask similar questions quite a bit on here (it must be my old age), but time just seems to be zooming by these days. Despite the lack of time left in the classroom before vacation, we are going to make the most of it in Room 18. Not only do I like to celebrate Thanksgiving and turkey fun, but I also like to do a little prep for the Christmas season. By this I mean that I like the kids to complete one or two slightly holiday flavored activities. Over break, I can sneak in and hang a few student created boards . . . empty bulletin boards make me cringe. With this said, here are a few of my Turkey Week Favorites . . . and some ideas and freebies too.
Who Will Carve Write
Now that my firsties are getting good in the sentence department, it is time to add a little creative fun to the mix. The week before Thanksgiving I always read, Who Will Carve the Turkey This Thanksgiving, by Jerry Pallotta. If you haven’t heard of this sweet story, it talks about different animals carving the turkey and what would happen. The kids always crack up when they hear this one (and let’s face it . . . so do I). We use this model to come up with our own animal carving scenarios. A close sentence gets thrown up on the board and we brainstorm a bit. Then, it’s off to the races. The kids always come up with the most outlandish things and they barely know that they are even doing work. Now that’s my kind of lesson 🙂
Interested in trying this with your crew? You’re in luck . . . I have it as a FREEBIE right HERE. Three levels are included.
A Plate Full of Thanks
This craft is always a parent favorite (and it’s one of mine too). It is a new twist on a Thankful Write and it isn’t a TURKEY 🙂 The sweetest things come out of this activity. I always tear up a little when I hear some of the things that come out of kids’ mouths. I have to catch myself and go to my “happy place,” so I don’t start bawling their faces. Sigh . . . I’m such a sap.
The fun thing about this craft is you get to teach the kids how to set the table too. Quite a few of the kids already know all about this as they are in charge of this chore nightly. However, there are a handful of kids who have NO IDEA what you’re talking about. Check out this mini pack HERE.
The Turkey Trot
If you have a performance or feast event or even if you don’t . . . this tune is a doozie. It’s a Freebie from Ron Brown’s Intelli-Tunes and an instant classic. My kids always used sing and dance to this one during our big Turkey Play. Now that I am at a new school, I can’t pass up the chance to learn this one. We will still boogie to this ditty . . . for our own enjoyment.
|Getting ready to perform last year.
CLICK HERE to snag this tune for free (just scroll down a bit).
Yes, you get to SHAKE those TAIL FEATHERS with all your might 🙂
How To Cook A Turkey
I found this on a blog YEARS ago and I absolutely love to save this write for Turkey Week. The kids say the funniest things and these writes make a great backdrop for any Thanksgiving Performance. You can find all sorts of fun versions of this on TPT.
Alright, so I don’t want to just focus on Thanksgiving activities this week as all of these items will go home on Friday. I need a little somethin’ – somethin’ to hold on to . . . that is relevant for the upcoming season. Well, here’s a little idea I always run with during Turkey Week (usually that Friday before break). We always seem to be working on digraphs this time of year . . . TH to be a little more specific. So, I like to have the kids make TH Wreaths as a fun word work activity. It isn’t too Christmasy out of context . . . but they fit right in after the vacation with all the holiday cheer that will be kicking into high gear. Here are the quick and low-prep steps for this one.
- Give your kiddos a regular old while paper plate with the center circle cut out. You can either pre-prep these or just make slits so the kids can get started easily (I have done it both ways)”.
- Have your kids color the plate green.
- Trace their hands on green paper. I suggest doubling up the paper so that they only have to cut four times. They need 7-8 total hands. I also suggest that you do this ahead of time.
- Brainstorm a list of TH words on the board.
- Invite your students to write one TH word on the palm of each hand.
- Staple the hands around the edge of the plate to create a wreath.
- Put out red paper for the kids to cut circles and add “berries.”
- Hang over Turkey Break for some standards-based HOLIDAY CHEER 🙂
Class Christmas Tree
I have blogged about this one before, but it is a pre-Turkey Break fave for sure. The best part is that the kids don’t even know that they are doing something for Christmas. It’s just a strange project that the teacher asked me to do . . . sneaky . . . sneaky 🙂 Here are the steps for this one.
- Give each student an equilateral triangle (I like 8-9″ sides). I STRONGLY suggest that YOU cut these out . . . otherwise your “tree” won’t fit together neatly.
- Ask your kids to decorate their triangles using scraps of paper. Give them a few ideas – cut shapes, hearts, and zig-zags. Make stripes or polkadots. They sky is the limit.
- Pull your students to add a little glitter to these creations. They can make dots, lines, or swirls.
- Over the vacation, use these triangles to create a Group Christmas Tree. They fit together in an alternating pattern . . . one point up . . . the next point down.
- I like to hang a writing assignment in the “sky” around the tree. It varies from year to year, but no matter which one I choose, it makes for the best student-created bulletin board.
- NOTE – Be sure you do the math on this one and draw it out based on the number of triangles you have from your class. I have botched the hanging job on more than one occasion and had to start over. You will most likely have extra triangles. I just use these to make single Christmas trees off to the sides.
Alright, so there you have it my friends. A few ideas to help get you through the week and jump start the next season (without going too Christmas crazy just yet). I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. I’ll see you again soon.