Last week at our first grade team meeting, we decided we wanted to do a writing activity for the students to write what they are thankful for.  We wanted to do something different than the standard turkey and writing in his feathers.  We thought of other Thanksgiving symbols and decided to use fruit in a cornucopia.  The teachers looked through books and templates they had, and I was ready to search for ideas on the computer.  It was a complete group effort to create and design this project.

We took the students throughout the entire writing process.  First we discussed what it means to be thankful and brainstormed a list of ideas; we emphasized being thankful for nonmaterial things.  Then, the students wrote a rough draft that was scaffolded since it’s still the beginning of the year and we’re working on writing complete sentences and ideas.  After their piece was edited, the students rewrote each sentence on a piece of fruit.  The students then colored and cut out the fruit and cornucopias.  They received help attached the fruit to the writing to make it flip up, and then they finished assembling their work.

Brainstormed list of things we are thankful for

Brainstormed list of things we are thankful for

Rough Draft of a Student's Writing

Rough Draft of a Student’s Writing

Templates Used to Create the Project

Templates Used to Create the Project

These projects turned out very well and it was a nice change of pace from the regular curriculum.  There were a lot of steps and the cornucopias took a long time to create, but the students were engaged, thoughtful, and hard workers.  Sometimes everyone needs a break and to do something different and fun.

Giving thanks is an important skill to have, and this project was a meaningful way for students to apply and incorporate their knowledge and ideas into different subjects-writing, social studies, and art.  This is an activity I would definitely repeat and is something that could be adapted for different grade levels.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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