When the calendar turns to November, children in elementary school start to get excited about Thanksgiving. Teachers can create bulletin boards and plan classroom activities that will help everyone focus on gratefulness and the meaning behind the holiday.
Thanksgiving Bulletin Boards
Indian corn is one of the iconic images of Thanksgiving, so create a huge ear of corn on a bulletin board. To start with add only the green husks add curve the top out to make the ear look like it has been opened. Leave space in the middle for students to add in the “Kernels of Thankfulness.” Cut out small circles of paper that are the colors of Indian corn, and every time a student has something she is thankful for, allow her to write it on a kernel and add it to the ear of corn.
Similarly, teachers can create a “Thankfulness Tree” by creating a large tree trunk on a bulletin board. Make paper leaves available for students to write whatever they may be thankful for and they can then attach them to the tree or around the bottom of the tree.
Pro Teacher explains that many schools hold food drives in November, so they suggest creating a large paper cornucopia, and overflow it with canned good labels. An appropriate headliner for this board is “We CAN make a difference!”
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, invite another classroom to join you for a feast. One class could dress up as the pilgrims and the other as Native Americans, and each bring some fall bounty to the table. Simple dishes kids can help make include:
- apple crisp
- sweet breads, such as pumpkin bread
- sweet potato casserole or sweet potato fries
To decorate the room, have each child trace their foot on brown paper, cut it out and glue it on a large piece of paper as a turkey body. Add eyes, nose, and wattle. Then as the month goes on students can write something they are thankful for each day on a paper feather and glue it behind the turkey body. By Thanksgiving the room will be filled with thankful turkeys.
DLTK’s Crafts for Kids suggests making a turkey out of a pine cone and leaves. This is the perfect opportunity to get outside for a nature walk and have children collect leaves and pine cones along the way. In the classroom, glue leaves in a fan shape on a piece of paper for the turkey’s feathers. Glue the pine cone in the middle of the leaves towards the bottom. Add googly eyes, construction paper nose, and a red wattle.
Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays in the school year, because children get excited about it and it helps everyone to focus on being grateful for their blessings. Encourage that thankfulness with classroom activities and bulletin boards this November.