Good grief, Dr. Jean, we are barely through Halloween and you're already talking about Thanksgiving!!! I know it is weeks away, but I wanted to give you a "heads up" with this project. Some of you may have seen this on my website in the past and are familiar with it. Anyone who has done this will attest to the fact that it is a BIG HIT with children and families. It's also a natural way for children to practice to retelling a story.
Hint! It's going to be an "investment" when you buy the beads, so this might be a project to hand over to a parent. You can buy individual bags of beads or just buy a large container of beads at Walmart and let the children pick out the colors they will need. The only color I had difficult finding was brown, so I just bought a little package of brown wooden beads.
Materials: white, blue, green, black, brown, red, orange, yellow beads, pipe cleaners
Directions: Say the poem and demonstrate how to insert the beads when the appropriate color is mentioned. Model this several times and encourage the children to recall the colors and fill in words that rhyme.
Write the colors in order and put the pipe cleaners and beads in a center for the children to construct independently. You could also do this as a small group activity with younger children. Practice telling the story as the children touch the beads for a prompt. Make sure to send home a copy of the poem with the bracelet so parents can reinforce this activity at home.
Thanksgiving Story Bracelet
With this bracelet you will know (Start with a pipe cleaner.)
The first Thanksgiving that was long, long ago.
The Pilgrims set sail from far away
On the Mayflower with tall white sails. (Insert a white bead.)
They sailed many days across the ocean blue. (Add a blue bead.)
The seas were rough, but the ship came through.
At last they spotted land so green. (String on a green bead.)
They were so happy they cheered and screamed.
The first year was so hard and black. (Now a black bead.)
Many died and wished that they could go back.
But the Native Americans gave them a hand
And helped them survive in the strange new land.
They decided to celebrate in a special way
And that became the first Thanksgiving day.
They prepared a feast with turkeys brown (Add a brown bead.)
And red cranberries that they had found. (Time for a red bead.)
Yellow corn that they had learned to grow (Insert a yellow bead.)
And orange pumpkin pies, don’t you know! (Last an orange bead.)
But before they ate the turkey and dressing,
They all held hands for a thankful blessing.
(Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner to make a bracelet.)