Lesson plan

“I Am Thankful For…”

Finding reasons to be grateful is a big part of the Thanksgiving season. Students won’t forget these reasons once they write them down!
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to identify sounds in words and form the corresponding letter.

(10 minutes)
  • Call students together.
  • Read The Thankful Book aloud.
  • While reading, encourage students to raise their hand if they also feel thankful for things in the book, have students guess what the author wrote based on the illustrations, and take time to sound out words and point out letter shapes.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students if they know of a holiday coming up that focuses on being thankful (they should say Thanksgiving).
  • Encourage students to help sound out the word 'Thanksgiving' by following a process that includes:

    • hearing the next sound,
    • thinking about what letter makes that sound,
    • then writing that letter.
  • Ask students if they can think of any animals associated with Thanksgiving (they should say turkey).
  • Once again, students should be encouraged to help sound out the word 'turkey' by using the same method as 'Thanksgiving.'
  • Tell students that today they will be making turkeys that show what they are thankful for.
(5 minutes)
  • Hand each student a piece of colored paper.
  • Ask if anyone knows how to trace his or her hand. Have them demonstrate this to the class.
  • Have students trace their own hand or separate into partners to have someone else trace their hand.
  • Pass out one turkey feather strip to each student.
  • As a class, come up with one thing people are thankful for (explain that this should be one word).
  • Demonstrate how to sound out and spell the word on the feather strip and glue it to a turkey.
  • Break students up into small groups or partners to practice with one more feather strip.
  • After checking-in to make sure that everyone understands how to complete feathers, pass out five more feather strips to each student.
  • Before sending students off to work, remind them of any independent work rules (i.e. only speaking in a whisper, raising hands for needs, etc.)
(15 minutes)
  • While students are working on their turkey feathers, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and assessing student abilities to identify the sounds in words and write the corresponding letters.
  • Playing quiet music in the background can help to set a good working mood and keep conversations to a minimum.
  • Encourage early finishers to create another turkey to bring home!

Support: Working with a partner can help to scaffold this activity. For students unable to write letters, this activity can be dictated and transcribed or modified so students may draw a picture on each turkey feather or tree leaf. (Students will practice drawing the different types of lines they can turn into letters in the near future.)

Enrichment: Encourage students to write full sentences instead of single words on the turkey feathers and leaves. Determining the right punctuation can add an extra level of difficulty, too!

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students: “How did you know to write that letter?” “How do you write that letter?”
  • Observe how students wrote letters on their turkeys. Are they formed properly?
(5 minutes)
  • Call students back together. Give students the opportunity to share what they have written.
  • Ask: Did other students identify the same sounds and letters? What were some of the sounds they heard most often? Were any letters hard or easy to write?
  • Post students' creations in the classroom. For an interesting wall decoration, create a paper tree with students’ names on it and put the turkeys under it.
  • Encourage students to continue to add more things they are thankful for each day until Thanksgiving. (They can write these on colorful paper leaves that they attach to the tree.)

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