Time for a holiday activity. Due to my amazing forethought, we can finish the explorers and celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time.
Pre-K Crowd: These little guys have been on journeys in the imagination. They’ve swished through tall grass, hunted for treasure in the family room, and drawn pictures of far off places. Today let’s dress them up as Pilgrims, Native Americans, or turkeys. Talk about how all those actors met at Thanksgiving. You can tell them that the Pilgrims sailed across an ocean to explore a new land. You can explain that Native Americans were already here and accustomed to following the animal migrations for sources of food. (I know you’ll think of a way!) You can also tell them that the first turkey was a gust of honor. When you’re done, take or draw a picture of your explorer. Then help him/her come up with five thing that make him/her special. Hang the list on the fridge where your child can show it off to any visitors.
Grades K-1: These gung-ho guys should be happy to wrap up their “explores.” Explain to them that Pilgrims were a type of explorer, too. The them the Native Americans hunted for food in the same way he/she hunted for treasure. Let them know the turkey was a special part of the first Thanksgiving. Ask your chile to write about the part they would have played at the first Thanksgiving. The story can be mostly pictures if they choose. Then take or draw a picture of your child at the first Thanksgiving. On a separate piece of paper, ask your child to draw or write five things that make him/her special. Hang it by his/her bed so that it’s right there when it’s time to go to bed.
2nd Grade: This group will also wrap up their exploration by imagining they are Pilgrims who have come to America. What did they bring? Where did they live? What did they eat? Ask your child to write about what it would have been like. Then ask your child to draw a picture of the first Thanksgiving–help with the details if needed. Don’t forget to also ask for a list of five things that make your child special. When it’s done, pick a special spot to hang the list.
Grades 3-5: These older kids definitely know the story of the first Thanksgiving. They’re also likely done with dressing up as Pilgrims or writing the things they’re thankful for. Let’s switch it up a bit. First have your child complete the story of his/her exploration. Then have him/her write two lists. The first list will be five thing that make him or her special. That list goes under the pillow at night. The second list will be five things that make your family fun. Ask your child to read that list aloud at Thanksgiving dinner.
Enjoy Thanksgiving! See you in December!