As part of our Around the World: America theme, I taught my little monsters about Thanksgiving. I think learning about being grateful is a very important lesson for anyone. I told them the kindergarten-ified version of the traditional tale. You know: the pilgrims wanted to go to American so they had to pack all of their snacks and their toys in a backpack. Then they had to say goodbye to their Grandma and their favorite friends. Next, the pilgrims got on a really, really big ship called the Mayflower and went on a long ride to America. When they got there, they were really excited, but then they started to worry. They didn’t have any more snacks or anywhere to sleep. Then they met the Native Americans who taught them how to grow new food and how to make a new house and how to catch a turkey with a bow and arrow. So the pilgrims made a new life in America. They were so happy they cooked a really big dinner, called a feast, for the Native Americans. They wanted to say thank you in a really nice way. So on Thanksgiving we have to say thank you to everyone that makes us happy, like our Mommy and our teachers AND also to things that make us really happy too, like the sun or rainbows. OR something like that…
We also made Native American headdresses. [They like to say “Native Americans” almost as much as the word, “interrupting,” which we recently needed to learn.] We used a regular A4 paper, cut in half the long way. Then we snipped some feather shapes and glued on various shapes AND real feathers. They about died of excitement when I stapled their finished product and placed it on their head, saying, “WOW a real Native American!” They wore them with pride for the rest of the day.
Today we hosted 2 other classes simultaneously (27 kids when we usually have 10). My 10 kids did a superb job telling the others about their favorite American facts and images. Then I told the abbreviated Thanksgiving story and we all made turkeys—they just had to cut and glue. We had heads, 6 feathers each, and a toilet paper roll. They turned out really cute and the kids were even cuter as they made turkey sounds all around the room.
We also had a teepee in the works. It’s basically 2 quarter-circles that we cut out of poster board. PLUS some Native American symbols expertly painted by 5-year olds. We added some strips of cardboard at the top to be the poles hold it up. In truth, we had to put a plastic chair underneath to hold it up!
We invited the parents to come next week during school! The kids will tell them about their favorite America facts and images. And they will get a chance to see all of the kids’ great work. We’re also going to do a craft with the parents. How fun!