Sunday, November 21, 2010

Giving Thanks


Today I am excited to share with you three Thanksgiving crafts, all made (mostly) by my pre-Kindergarten class.  As a teacher (and a crafter in general), I really try make meaningful crafts that have equal parts form and function.  The process of making the craft should teach them something and the final product should be something the kids are proud of and want to show off. 

Warning:  In this post, there will not be any pictures of the process of the crafts as a means to protect my funny little kiddos.  Also, the pictures are taken from a camera phone, so the quality might be a little less than usual. 

First, a coffee filter turkey!  The purpose of this activity was to teach all the kiddos about colors and to conduct a mini informal assessment on their knowledge of colors and their ability to predict what will happen when we unfolded the coffee filters. 

  • Variety of colors of food dye
  • Bowls filled with water
  • Coffee filter
  • Turkey body from brown, orange or yellow construction paper (see template below if you would like a copy)
  • Scissors
  • Colored pencils
  • Two googly eyes
  • Elmer’s glue
First, drop several drops of food dye into the bowls of water (we used green, red, yellow and blue).  Then, have the child fold the coffee filter several times (doesn’t really matter how, they can be creative).  Then dip the coffee filters into whatever colors the kids want to use in whatever order they want.  Open up the coffee filter and allow to dry. 

Click on picture, zoom in once
to see full size template.
Meanwhile, give one turkey body to each kid (I pre-cut the turkey bodies from the template…My kiddos are not all experts with scissors yet).  The kids drew on a waddle and a beak, and then we glued on two googly eyes. 

After the coffee filters are completely dry, use Elmer’s glue to glue the coffee filter onto the back of the turkey body. 

Display in the hallway for parents and students to enjoy!

Next, a fingerprint turkey!  This activity was primarily for teaching the names of the different fingers (thumb, index, middle, ring and pinky).

  • Ink pads
  • Paper (White, brown and orange)
  • Glue
  • Their hands
  • Fingerprint poem (see below)
First, press pink into yellow ink, and make one line.  Press ring finger into yellow ink and make one line below the yellow.  Use the middle finger with blue, again press a line below the yellow.  Press the index finger into green and make one line below the blue.  Lastly, red is for the thumb, press one final line and one that stands out for the head and waddle (see picture below!).  Teacher/Parent/Adult draws in eyes, legs, wings and beak. 

I glued the turkey print out on an orange backing.  Print out fingerprint poems, glue them to brown cardboard backing.  Glue poem onto orange backing, below turkeys and done!

Fingerprint poem:
All turkey birds are different,
As you will shortly see
And you will never see another bird
Quite like this one to you from me.
Can you see what makes it different? 
Do you need some helpful hints?
I made a turkey from my very own...

Lastly, a handprint turkey.  We did this project to support team work.  On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we are going to raffle the turkey off to one lucky winner!

  • White paper
  • Yellow, orange and red paint (finger or tempera…doesn’t really matter as long as it is washable)
  • Their hands
  • Scissors
  • Turkey body cut out on brown construction paper (see above)
  • Colored pencils
  • Tape
Each student made two or more handprints (this was very supervised and they took turns to avoid inevitable messes).  Hang the paper up to dry. 

Students cut out their own handprints (unless their motor skills aren’t quite up to par yet…I let my kiddos cut them out, then helped refine their edges).  Teacher/Parent/Adult assembles turkey body (draw on eyes, beak and waddle), then tapes together all handprints on turkey body.  Place on bulletin board underneath student’s “giving tree” with the things they are thankful for (see pictures below…My personal favorite was “I am thankful for…Velociraptors.”)


Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. absolutely adorable! did you come up with these projects yourself? And i love the change- is this something that we are sticking with? if so-- i am totally on board.

  2. Love it! I am going to use the poem, if that is ok?!?!



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