Thanksgiving Activities for Schoolchildren

Leaf shapes can be used in Thanksgiving activities. image by Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski


Thanksgiving brings many things to mind, but two of the most common are turkeys and gratitude. These concepts can be used as the basis for several creative projects that can be done quickly and easily right in the classroom.

Incognito Turkeys

The incognito turkey is a great way for students to flex their creative muscles. Provide each child with a turkey cut-out without his tail feathers. The goal of the activity is to put a disguise on the turkey so he doesn't end up as Thanksgiving dinner. Students can draw on the turkeys and cut out and glue construction paper, felt or thin foam sunglasses, dresses, hats and myriad other disguises to hide their turkeys. Also provide each student with a small feather that is glued on the turkey, peeking out of the disguise. Display the turkeys on a wall or bulletin board under a heading that explains these turkeys are in disguise.

Gratitude Place Mat

The gratitude place mat showcases the many things for which students are grateful. Start off each kid with a base of construction paper or poster board and have each cut out leaf shapes to glue on the base. Each leaf should contain an item for which the student is grateful. You can jump-start their gratitude leaves by mentioning family, food, a home, friends and other wonderful things. Students can also include an illustration of the thing for which they are grateful on the leaf. If you want the place mat to be functional, have it laminated so it can withstand spills. The place mat can also be purely ornamental and displayed at school or in the home.

Thankful Turkey Bulletin Board

This activity combines the turkey theme with gratitude to create a striking classroom display. Create a large turkey cut-out without his feathers and place it in the middle of the bulletin board. Each student should cut out a large construction paper feather on which to list one or more things for which he is grateful. Hang the feathers on the turkey and you have a positive and decorative display. A variation of this would be to have each student create his own individual smaller turkey using the same concept. These can be hung in the classroom until they are sent home for Thanksgiving dinner.

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About this Author

Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.

Photo by: Illustration by Ryn Gargulinski

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