As a former Pre-Kindergarten teacher and now stay-at-home mommy of 2 boys and a sweet baby girl, many people ask me how they can be implementing educational concepts in the lives of their young children at home before they enter school. Instead of trying to come up with a quick list of ideas off the top of my head to answer these questions, I have decided to put all of my lessons into this blog. I, along with so many other parents, want to be purposeful at home with my children and make the most of the time I have with them.
I hope that this blog can help, encourage, and inspire you to work with your kiddos and
get involved in the learning process! The benefits will be endless,
and the moments you share together will be priceless! As Dr. Seuss once said,
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go!"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thinking Theme: Thanksgiving

Letter Sound of the Week:  "Th"

Number of the Week:  # of people you are celebrating Thanksgiving with - we have 8

Bible Verse of the Week:  "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His Name." Psalm 100:4


Great songs here at Preschool Education!
Lesson 1: Thanksgiving Tree (from Pinterest)
* To understand what being thankful means
* To recognize the many blessings in our lives and why we are thankful for them
* To create a visual representation of our gratefulness for these blessings

* construction paper
* circle punch if you have one
* hole punch
* pen/pencil
* tree to hang the circles on

1. Cut out lots of circles and punch a hole in the top of each one.  You will need one circle for each family member for every day in November.

2. Each day write things you are thankful for.  Talk about the blessings in your life and explain that we should give thanks to our Lord and Savior for the amazing things we have in our lives.

3. Each day hang the "thankful for" circles on a tree ( I just have a vase of branches that we used. You could also string them together and make a thanksgiving chain.)

4. Do this every day in November!

Lesson 2: Letters/Vocabulary of Thanksgiving (from 2 Teaching Mommies)
* To learn the story of the first Thanksgiving
* To use letters to represent specific Thanksgiving terms
* To recognize the sounds of each letter used
* To use the fine motor skills involved with drawing and cutting

* printables from 2 Teaching Mommies
* crayons/markers
* scissors
* if you want to make a book: hole punch, construction paper, and ribbon

1. Print out the story pictures and have your child color each one.  Talk about the vocabulary words, emphasizing the beginning sounds and letters they start with. (*Note: I changed the "T" to "Th" since we are learning that specific sound.)

2. Place the cards in this order and tell your child the story of the first Thanksgiving, focusing on these terms.

3.  You can put the cards together with some construction paper and ribbon to make a Thanksgiving book if you'd like!

Lesson 3: Turkey Craft ( I combined this craft from Preschool Corner and this craft from Confessions of a Homeschooler.)
* To understand what a turkey is and the characteristics of this animal
* To spell the words "Thanks"
* To match same colors
* To create a turkey craft using the fine motor skills involved with cutting and gluing

* multiple colors of construction paper
* foam letters if you have them
* empty toilet paper or paper towel roll if you have one
* scissors
* glue/tape
* googly eyes

1. Cut a circle out of brown construction paper.  This will be the face of the turkey.

2. Get a toilet paper or paper towel roll if you have one.  We didn't, so we rolled a piece of brown paper together and taped it.  Glue or tape the circle to the top of the roll, and set it aside.

3. Cut out 6 feather shapes using 6 different colors of  paper.  Have your child cut slits in each one to make it look more like feathers.

4. Using the same 6 colors, gather the letters that spell the word "Thanks", one color for each letter.  Have your child match the letter to the correct color feather. If you don't have foam letters, you can match the same color marker to the feathers and have your child write them on the paper.

5. Help your child place the feathers in the right order and glue/tape them to the roll.

6. Cut out a small yellow triangle for the beak and a small red rectangle for the waddle.  Glue these to the face of the turkey, along with 2 googly eyes.

* There are so many turkey crafts out there, but I thought this one was pretty cute!

Lesson 4: Thanksgiving Story and Bracelet (from Dr. Jean)
* To review the first Thanksgiving story
* To correlate colors with specific parts of the story in order to recall what happened
* To use the fine motor skills involved with threading beads

* poem from Dr. Jean
* pipe cleaner
* white, blue, green, black, brown, red, yellow, and orange beads

1. Print out the Thanksgiving poem from Dr. Jean's website.  Read the story to your child, pausing at each color.  Allow them to place the bead on the pipe cleaner as you read about it.

2. Once you have finished reading, let your child wear it and review each color that represents the parts of the story!  Sawyer loved this, and wore his bracelet all day!

Lesson 5: Pilgrim Shape Craft (from 2 Teaching Mommies)
* To understand who a Pilgrim is and what a Pilgrim wore years ago
* To recognize specific shapes and use them to represent parts of the Pilgrim
* To use the fine motor skills involved with gluing and drawing

* directions from 2 Teaching Mommies
* brown, black, white, yellow, and blue construction paper
* scissors
* glue
* markers

1. Before you start the lesson, pre-cut these shapes out as seen on the 2 Teaching Mommies website.

2. Call out the name of a shape, and have your child choose the correct one.  Then help them place the shapes together to make the Pilgrim.  Talk about the Pilgrims and the clothes that they wore.  You can look at different pictures online or in books for them to get a better understanding.

* Cute craft, and great shape recognition lesson!

Extra Thinking:
* Harvest File Folder Game (from File Folder Fun)

* Which is different? (from 2 Teaching Mommies)

* Setting the Table/Thanksgiving Cooking - This is a great way to get your child involved in the preparation of the big day!  Setting the table allows them to use the one-to-one corresponce concept in placing one of each item at each place on the table.  And, of course, cooking involves so many measuring and fine motor skills concepts.  Have fun preparing the feast with your kiddos!

* Thanksgiving Placemats - Let your child create a placemat to use for your Thanksgiving meal.  Here is the one Sawyer made at mother's day out:

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