In this display, students practice their paragraph writing expertise by writing about what they are thankful for in their own lives. I usually read a book about the first thanksgiving, Squanto and the Pilgrims before having students write their paragraphs. See some resources from Amazon below under “Extras”.
1. Hang up brown backing paper on the bulletin board. If you used the October idea, you will aready have the paper up and will just need to change the border.
2. Border: I used some very cute border that looked like corn on the cob that I ordered from the TREND catalog. Cute! Yellow or any thanksgiving / fall themed border would be fine. See the link under “Resources” below to order.
3. Print out the “turkey template” below under the resources. Enlarge it to whatever size you desire. Cut off the part of the turkey containing his tail feathers. Students will be replacing the tail feathers with their own.
4. Make a template for a new tail feather for students to trace and cut from different colors of construction paper: green, yellow, brown, red, orange, etc.
5. Each student should make 5 feathers, each of a different color. On each feather, they should write one thing they are thankful for in their lives using a sharpie marker in a contrasting color (brown or black). Remind students that we are NOT talking about material possessions such as Nintendo, etc.
6. Students will then decorate the rest of the printed turkey and glue their feathers on in the appropriate place, each feather showing something they are thankful for. Students can also glue on googly eyes or other accessories.
7. Next, students need to choose ONE of the itmes they are thankful for and write a well constructed paragraph about it. This would be a good activity to practice or assess “main idea” in paragraph writing. The students should go through the complete writing process and possibly use the 4-square writing technique to write a well structured paragraph.
8. Under the “thanksgiving themed paper” link below, you will find some 1/2 size sheets with a cute picture and lines that could be used for writing the paragraph with only small modifications to the orignal template. Students should write their final copy of their paragraoh on this special paper and color the picture on the paper as well.
9. The turkey with the special “thankful feathers” and the paragraph can now be attached together and laminated.
10. Cut out the laminated student products and arrange them on the brown paper for display. When I did this, I put a large pre-made (purchased) turkey in the middle as well as some other scattered appropriate die-cuts.
11. Title: “The Fifth Grade Gives Thanks” (insert your own appropriate grade level).
Corn border: http://www.trendenterprises.com/ProdDetail.cfm
Turkey Accessories: http://www.trendenterprises.com/ProdDetail.cfm
Turkey Template: http://www.sparkplugging.com/kids-activities/turkey-printable-coloring-pages/
Other Turkey printables: http://www.coloring.ws/turkeys1.htm
Thanksgiving Themed paper: http://www.abcteach.com/free/t/thanksgiving_supplements.pdf
Thanksgiving book report / reading log: http://www.abcteach.com/free/t/thanksgiving_bookreports.pdf
Squanto books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=squanto&x=0&y=0
First Thanksgiving books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=first+thanksgiving&x=0&y=0
Mayflower books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=Mayflower&x=0&y=0