Friday, November 22, 2013

Creating a curriculum and art projects from a book (Caillou)

 “Caillou, Happy Thanks giving, by Sarah Margaret Johanson, is a book designed for toddlers, but because it is so simple I thought that it would be the perfect book to help preschoolers understand what being thankful really means. This book also shows how one family celebrates the holiday.

Introduce Thanksgiving in circle by reading the book; ask your students how they celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. And what their favorite part of the holiday is? Is it spending time with family, the food or both?

During circle time introduce the letter T, by holding up and reading the title to your students and touching each word as you read it. Stop at the word “Thanksgiving” tell your students the word and then ask them if they know what letter it starts with? If they don’t know, let them know that it is an uppercase T, how it is written and it’s letter sound. Since the book is orange, you can also introduce the color by asking the students what color is the book.

 After you read the story, ask them if they remember what Caillou was thankful for in the book? And what things are they thankful for.

Use index cards or a piece of decorate paper to write down your student’s responses, and then display all the responses on your class bulletin board, put a label that says: “We are Thankful for.” Put each student’s picture by their card so that the parents can easily find their child’s card.

Have students bring in  an old family picture of their family during Thanksgiving, be specific when requesting the pictures. Let your parents know that you would like to have a picture showing the family dining together for Thanksgiving, or any other family time. But, keep in mind that not every family celebrates Thanksgiving, if this is the case in your classroom; have those families bring in a picture on what their family does on November 28th. Have each parent write a brief note about the picture, so that you can share each picture with the class, or have each student share their own picture.

Bring in a Thanksgiving table cloth and cover one of your tables with it, have the students set the table as they would at home, with plates, spoons, and napkins. Then have parents bring in a small dish for a class Thanksgiving celebration, invite the parents and have your own classroom feast.

For a cooking project, have your students make sugar cookie T’s, beforehand slice the cookies in long pieces so the students can put them together to make the letter T, provide sprinkles for decorating.

Here are a few additional projects you can make yourself:

Matching/Sensory Game

Matching game with feathers; you can also match colors, letters or shapes, and choose the size egg carton that you want.
You will need:
Egg carton
Color the inside of the cartons the same color as the feathers that you have; your students would match the feathers to the cartons, or choose items based on the holiday.
For example:  glue different types of Christmas candy to the cartons and have the students match the candy.

Gift ideas for your parents
You will need:
One egg holder for each student
Markers (A variety of colors)
Construction paper: Red, Orange, Yellow and Brown (For Feathers, Beck, Wattle, and
For this project, I cut out one egg holder from the carton, making sure that a little piece was still attached for the eyes and a beck. I added a red piece of construction paper for the wattle, used brown paper for the feet and a variety of colors for the feathers.
 It might be hard for your students to create this. But you can have them color it brown, or whatever color they like, and then add the other items later.
Use it as a gift for their parents; add a few pieces of candy and a card for Thanksgiving.


Holiday Pies
What you will need:
Shaving Cream
Decorating Sugar/Sprinkles
3-4 Extra Large Coffee filters per student (you can use any size)
Use about 3-4 coffee filters, depending on how strong they are.
Fill each filter with shaving cream
Then have the students decorate their pies
Make a card with each student’s name on it, and display it in front of their pie.

These pies are for display, we displayed them in our sensory center for the parents to see and put up a sign that said: “Our holiday Pies”
Although my students were not able to take them home, they enjoyed making them any way. They will last for 5 days (depending on the temperature in your classroom) and will then begin to melt. This can be a great Science project as well.
My class consisted of younger and older 3’s



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