Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Incorporating Writing into Thanksgiving Activities

As a second grade teacher I think it'd be a crime not to include some sort of Thanksgiving art activity into my lessons, but I know my administrators wouldn't approve of a solely art based project taking up instructional time either. This is how "Turkeys in Disguise" was born!

This resource incorporates creative writing into an art project in the most fun and engaging way. The goal is to save the turkey's from all the hungry people on Thanksgiving by giving them a clever disguise. They must first complete a variety of brainstorming, organizing, and writing activities to plan exactly what they will do before creating their fun turkey costumes. 

Step 1: Brainstorming

Students will come up with  8 ideas of people, animals, or things they can disguise their turkey as. 

Step 2: Organizing Ideas

Students map out exactly what clothing they will create for their turkey. Encourage students to include accessories, jewelry, or props that could go with their turkey friend!

Step 3: My Turkey's Turkey Day Plan

Students create plans for what their turkeys will do with all his/her time off on Thanksgiving while he is under cover. It's so entertaining to read things like "My Firefighter Turkey went to the forrest to eat his sandwich between fires."

Step 4: Paragraph Time

Students get to transform their graphic organizers into paragraphs that they can present to the class with their finished turkeys! Have students write one paragraph about what it's disguise will look like and another about what the turkeys will do on their day off. There are 3 paragraph options for the different levels of readers/writers you may have in your class. The first is a blank page for higher level learners, the second has some sentence starters for students who need a little push, and the third has several fill in the blank sentences for students who struggle with creating their own. These leveled paragraphs are great for differentiating instruction! 

Step 5: Time for your Turkey Disguise!

Students finally get to put all that planning into action! Using their description of how their disguise will look, they can cut out their turkey and get decorating! I had my students use construction paper to create clothes for their turkeys, kind of like clothes for a paper doll, but you can always just have them color the costume on the turkey as well. 

This is an activity they will never forget, and you'll definitely get a kick out of what they create too! Just check out "Nelly the Turkey Nurse!" :) 

BONUS: Black and White Versions of EVERY PAGE included!
Ink is no longer an issue!

When you use this engaging and educational product in your class, please snap a picture and tag me in it on Instagram {link in the sidebar}. I love seeing these turkeys come to life! Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy your time off from school, God knows you deserve it! 

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