Thursday, November 21, 2013

We are thankful!!!

I love Thanksgiving! We begin our Thanksgiving unit by learning about homes. We learn about the different types of homes around the world and how people build their homes based on the materials around them. We end this week talking about the type homes that the Pilgrims and Indians lived in. We use The Three Little Pigs to kick-off "homes" week. I do not separate Pilgrims, Indians, nutrition or other Thanksgiving topics. We learn about everything at the same time and compare/contrast them.

This is one of our math warm-ups. Each child has the die rolled to him/her and has to tell the number shown by the set. I encourage them to say the number and not count. They consider this an easy game! Sometimes I make it harder and they have to spell the number word after telling the number.
Each child drew a pig and then chose to either dip it in the shaving cream and paint mixture or paint it. They did a great job! I always encourage them to draw using the different shapes we see in the object we are drawing. It's difficult to get them started at the beginning of the year but by this time no one even says "I can't" anymore!!!

the shaving cream
My pig. I drew one first while the kiddos told me the shapes to draw.
shaving cream with paint
They loved watching it swirl.

Only a few wanted to paint their pigs.

We also did a small writing assignment with them. It says: I would build my house from _____ because _____. This idea came to me not long before we did it! They absolutely LOVED it.

Our Three Little Pigs mural. We paint each house. While painting we listen to The Three Little Pigs Blues by Greg and Steve. They love it. It is on the Playin' Favorites album.

This year I changed our teepees. I had TONS of sour cream containers, so the kids figured out ways to wrap paper around it and made a door in the container. They are pretty cute and took some problem solving to make it work.

Thanksgiving centers I made. They had to write a sentence about each picture. They also had to complete a book about who/what lives in each home.
Making symmetrical Indians...
We do Indian and Pilgrim chores in our centers during the month of November. My sweet friend, Suzan Estes and I work for a long time trying to make it more meaningful for the kids. We want them to understand how their lives are different form the Pilgrim and Indians. I know these chores are way easier and a lot more fun but it gets the point across. In science, the kids are fishing, planting, digging for clams, and hunting turkeys.

In dramatic play, the kids are sewing, gathering berries, stuffing mattresses, getting water and carrying it back home, etc.
Sorting pics by word family.

Some our finished sewing products.
A completed mattress. We learned that our mattresses are WAAAAAY more comfy!
Hunting turkeys. Sweet Mrs. Ables loaned us her slingshot. This was a hit! We learned that we would've starved to death if we had to attempt to hit a moving target!!!!
Yay, he hit one!!
She said she was so glad we have water inside our homes! This was hard and it hurt.

One of our math stations was making an Indian necklace. They made them using patterns with the straws and beads. It was also a great fine motor activity.

Turkey bowling...

My sweet husband bought us 18 containers of salt so we could make drums. I decided to let the kids make salt paintings so we could use some of the salt. They did such a great job.

My finished product.

This has been my most favorite thing we have done. I went to a painting party with some of my work friends. Being a teacher, I ALWAYS try to figure out a way my kiddos can do some of the cool things I do or find. I figured out how to do a kindergarten-friendly turkey and reindeer.Each child drew a turkey and then we mixed colors and painted together. I overheard one child say, "Wow I AM an artist!" That made my day.

My turkey painting.
I did it on the Elmo so everyone could see what I was doing.
Background finished... They were so proud!

Finished products:

Weaving... another pattern activity.

We also continued a zigzag pattern around the bottom of our teepee paper.