Monday, November 9, 2009

Preschool Co-Op: Thanksgiving Theme

I taught our preschool co-op today. I loosely based the theme on Thanksgiving, focusing more on fun turkey stories and the feast than the historical elements. We have two more weeks before the actual holiday and no doubt the other moms will emphasize the historial significance and spiritual characteristics. Plus, I had a migraine last night and didn't get my lesson together until early this morning. Talk about putting things off until the last minute.

Anyways, on to the lesson...

We started our circle time discussing the upcoming holiday and talking about what a feast is and the foods we like to eat at Thanksgiving. Then, we read A Plump and Perky Turkey.

Such a cute book! We've had that one checked out from the library a while now and it's been fun to read and reread.
After we read that, we talked about how Pete and the other turkeys in Squawk Valley were disappearing around Thanksgiving time because they didn't want to end up as dinner. I drew a turkey on our chalkboard easel and told the kids that they were going to help our turkey drawing disappear too. They got to decide which parts of the turkey to erase {disappear} first but they had to tell me a rhyming word instead of the word itself, i.e. street instead of feet, weather instead of feather. They needed a little help with this at first since it's a new concept to them but they were getting it pretty well by the end.

For our turkey craft, we went on a walk to find maple leaves. We gathered several and came home to make our turkeys. The children glued their turkeys together. {I found the template here and cut out all pieces on construction paper beforehand.} They did an excellent job putting their turkeys together and gluing on the collected maples leaves as the feathers. It amazes me how much more independent they've become in just the last 9 months. When we first started this co-op we had to help them a lot with activities like this. Now they listen to the instructions, see the example, and try on their own before asking for help. It's such a joy to see the progress!

We read another book, Run, Turkey, Run!. It's a fun book and the kids got a kick out of the turkey running from the farmer, trying to hide with all of the other farm animals. I had originally planned to go outside after reading it so the kids could pretend to be turkeys like the one in the book, running and hiding to see if the farmer (me) would find them. But we ran out of time.

Back to the "feast" part of the lesson, I had the kids sit down at our kiddie table for a little Q&A on table manners. I asked them questions about how they chew {with mouths closed}, what the polite way to ask for more food is, where they should put their utensils when they're not using them, etc. I gave them each construction paper place mats that had place settings drawn on them. I told them about how to set a table and gave each of them a full place setting to practice with, using their place mats as a guide.

We talked about how we thank God for our food before we eat and that everything comes from Him. One of the little girls taught us a new prayer she just learned for mealtime.

We learned how God gives us so many good things, including the wonderful foods we get to eat. I made cornucopias out of lunch bags with our verse of the day written on them, Psalm 145:7. The kids scooped out popcorn, dried cranberries, raisins and chocolate chips to fill up their cornucopias.


Chrissy MacCEO said...

Another incredible lesson. You are so talented!

Jennifer said...

Great ideas, I especially love the leaves as turkey feathers.

Meredith said...

The turkeys turned out really cute!

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