Learning about the First Thanksgiving and turkeys -The Traveling Closet

by Mary Ann on November 22, 2011

young girl in turkey crown picture

Maggie in her turkey crown

Did you take some time to learn about the Pilgrim’s dinner guests, the Wampanoag Indians? Did you learn what it would have been like to sail on the Mayflower?

I talked with Jack and Maggie about these things this last Friday at Grandma School, but what they were really interested in was talking about turkeys. So while we made turkeys I interjected a bit here and there about what Thanksgiving is, why we celebrate it, who was at the feast, what they ate and so forth. But what they were really interested in was talking about turkeys!

So we had a fun time just doing the kinds of things small children do at Thanksgiving time. We made  a turkey craft which the kids loved.

making turkey craft picture

First trace little feet, then little hands. Perfect does not apply here.

Mary was checking out all her parts and pieces. When we traced their feet and hands it was an imperfect job for sure. They move! Sometimes they spread their fingers and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t matter. Mary had a ball trying to trace her own feet. Then when I wasn’t watching she autographed the leather couch!

The feet become the turkey’s body with the heels for the head. The hands are the feathers, 5 colorful feathers on the backside of the fat turkey body and two brown feathers on the front. We were lucky and had some feathers on hand so they became wattles. If we hadn’t had them on hand we would have cut them out of construction paper, just like the feet and beak. Of course we used wiggle eyes but if you don’t have any use marker or crayon. I am the queen of “don’t go to the store if you don’t have to!”

little girl in turkey crown picture

Here is Mary in her perfect turkey crown.

little boy with turkey crown and doing a turkey dance

Jack not only donned his turkey crown, he did a turkey dance!

finished turkey craft picture

The finished product

After our turkey making we read a book about a Thanksgiving feast for a very small mouse and a counting book about the First Thanksgiving at Plymouth. It was a quiet morning of chatting and gluing and tracing and frankly, we all enjoyed it a lot!

thanksgiving books images

Thanksgiving books for kids:

  • One is a Feast for a Mouse by Judy Cox
  • The First Thanksgiving Day, A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed
  • The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene – A rhyming book
  • Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving by Ann Mcgovern
  • The Firefighter’s Thanksgiving by Terry Widene
  • The Perfect Thanksgiving by Eileen Spinelli
  • Thelonius Turkey Lives! (on Felicia Ferguson’s Farm) by   – A good read aloud
  • Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp – According to the author the text of this picture book is “based on the Thanksgiving Address, an ancient message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants” that comes from the Iroquois.
  • Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley’s

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