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Monday, November 23, 2015

Fun Thanksgiving Activites for Your Class {with Freebies}

I'm going to begin this post by saying that I am slightly jealous of those teachers who have this whole week off. Thankfully, we only go through Tuesday.  I am looking forward to a few family-filled days off. 
We have been doing some fun Thanksgiving themed activities over the past week, and I wanted to share some of those ideas with you. If you are off already {lucky!}, you can save the ideas for next year. However, if you still have a few more days, hopefully an activity or two will make the time go by faster.



 We had a Thanksgiving Dinner last Thursday at our school. So of course, we had to make Pilgrim and Indian hats to wear. {I actually let all of my students make one of each because we had extra time.} I printed out a pattern I found online and traced the feathers onto white cardstock. Then I let my students color the feathers while I taped the headbands in the right sizes. 
 The pilgrim hats I copied onto black construction paper. We added the yellow buckle after cutting out the hat.  
 They came out very cute! Most of my students chose to let a younger sibling wear their second hat during the dinner.


It worked out perfectly that we have been studying Native Americans in our current Heritage Studies unit. Part of each lesson had us making a different Indian item. Over the course of last week, we made both teepees and canoes. Again, they are just cut out of paper, colored, and taped together, but my students had a blast making them. They were especially proud of the designs that they drew on their creations! You can grab a copy of the patterns by clicking on the links above.






 
One of my favorite activities from last week was our Build the Mayflower STEM activity. I used this activity on Thursday afternoon because there was no way I was getting very much work done after a huge Thanksgiving Dinner. Luckily, my students had no idea this was anything but fun so they willingly spent at least 30 minutes building and testing their boats.

Each student was given the a piece of tin foil, a small lump of clay, six popsicle sticks, four straws, and 3 rubber bands along with tape and scissors. I told them ahead of time that they would not get any replacement items so they had to use them wisely.
 They spread out around the room and started building. I told them they could talk about it together so some of them spent some time talking strategy.
Once the students were done building, they were allowed to come up and test how many "Pilgrims" their boat would hold by filling it with small pebbles. {I didn't have enough pennies so you make do with what you have, right?}

 We had some very different designs, but the two pictured above held them most pebbles before they sunk. And of course as scientists, we had to record our data. After testing their boat, each student wrote their name and the number of pebbles the boat held onto our recording page. 
 You can pick up your own free copy of the recording page for this fun activity here.
We have had so much fun with these activities in the past week. Hopefully, they give you some fun ideas to get you through the next couple of days!

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