Wednesday, November 21, 2012

thanksgiving secrets are so much fun.

I love this time of year in my classroom.  Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, and I love including all of the festivities in what we are doing in our learning.  I also enjoy spending some time on extra, more "fun" craftivities.

My favorite thing we did to get ready for Thanksgiving was our "Thanksgiving Secrets."  Last year, after searching Pinterest for inspiration, I found two great activities that I loved (The Thanksgiving Story Bracelet and Handprint Turkey Keepsakes) and combined them into one fantastic, super-project.

Materials Needed:
- paint
- construction paper
- cardboard
- pipe cleaners
- poem print-out (I changed the words from the original a bit to better suit our classroom and the bead colors I was able to find)
- glue sticks
- pony beads

We worked on these for a few days for five to ten minutes each time.  The first time, we painted the handprint turkeys.  We used Crayola Washable Kids' Paint for this--the kids picked the feather colors, painted their fingers and then printed them on quarter sheets of construction paper.  I love that first graders' hands are small enough to fit on a piece of paper that big!

When those were dry, each student got his or her handprint and a poem printout and glued them on either side of the cardboard.  I poked little holes at the top of the cardboard with an xacto knife before giving the kids the cardboard.  I gave the class each (half) a pipe cleaner (I forgot to pick up more, so I had to use the leftovers from last year.  Get more.  They are much more functional with a longer hanger) and gave them the pony beads they needed.  We read the poem as a class, with the students waving their hands in the air like they were on a roller coaster when they read a color word.  We strung the beads as we went, and then they closed off the hanger by threading it through the holes.

My favorite part, though, was when I gave the class the chance to add some extra details to their turkeys with markers.  Feet, eyeglasses and fancy hair were all making appearances on their turkeys!

The class was so excited to take them home today after our Thanksgiving Feast party and give them to their families. 

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