October 30, 2017
by Catherine Crider

Lesson plan

Thanksgiving Lines

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Students will be able to draw straight and curved lines with a variety of writing tools.

(5 minutes)
  • Call students together as a whole group.
  • Make a list with your class of things they associate with Thanksgiving. Students will probably mention things like turkeys, pilgrims, Native Americans, and pumpkin pie.
  • Once the list is complete, ask students to find pictures/drawings of any of these objects in the classroom. (They may point out holiday decorations, seasonal books, etc.)
  • Ask students if they have tried to draw any of these items themselves before. If they have, ask them about the process they used, what type of writing tool, etc.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to students that today they will be tracing turkeys. In order to do that, they will need to be able to draw straight and curved lines.
  • Ask students to think about times in the past when they have traced or drawn straight or curved lines. (They may mention tracing letters, drawing their name, etc.)
  • Using a whiteboard marker or other writing instrument, demonstrate the proper way to hold a writing utensil.
  • Then draw a straight and a curved line on the board.
  • Ask students to hold their hands up in the air and pretend to do the same thing holding either an imaginary writing tool or a real one.
  • Repeat several times for extra practice if needed.
(5 minutes)
  • Erase parts of the two line types you have drawn (or draw some new dashed lines).
  • Ask for a student volunteer to come up and redraw the lines. While that student is drawing on the board, continue to have other students air draw along.
  • Repeat with other student volunteers.
  • Hand out two copies of the Tracing Lines: Thanksgiving worksheet to every student.
  • Instruct students that they should use a pencil or pen to outline one of the turkeys and a marker or crayon to outline the other turkey. They can color the inside of the turkey with whatever colors they choose.
  • Before students find a space to trace in and color their worksheet, remind students of any specific rules and instructions you have for independent work times (ex. only talking in a whisper, seating rules, etc.)
(10 minutes)
  • While students are working, it can be fun to play quiet classical or holiday music in the background. (This usually also helps to keep talking down!)
  • Any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and assisting students with finding the appropriate pencil grip.
  • Optional: Early finishers can browse Thanksgiving books for more ideas to draw or trace and try it out on scratch paper.

Support: Provide pencil and other grips to assist students to properly hold their writing instruments. Sharp and sufficiently inked writing utensils are helpful, so that students don’t have to struggle pressing extra hard with dull points or weakened writing instruments.

Enrichment: Encourage students to draw their own Thanksgiving turkey freehand from just looking at turkey drawings. This will help with their spatial and line drawing skills!

(5 minutes)
  • Discuss: Which tools and methods are best for drawing straight or curved lines? Have students demonstrate as they feel comfortable doing so.
  • Review student worksheet work for curved and straight line drawing accuracy.
(5 minutes)
  • Call students back together and give them the opportunity to share their drawings with the group.
  • Have students identify straight and curved lines in the drawings.
  • With your class, brainstorm and list any other Thanksgiving symbols they would like to draw.
  • Select one item from the list and note any straight and curved lines that make up the symbol.
  • Encourage students to take a piece of paper back to their desk and try drawing any items from the brainstormed list (pointing out pictures of these items in your classroom that they might try to copy).

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