So this week we're doing a turkey theme and I made up lots of lesson plans for it, using lots of fun turkey themed activities I found on Pinterest and other blogs, as well as ideas of my own. These lesson plans go along with our daily schedule that we use.
The subjects included in these lesson plans are: science, math, rotation day subjects, music, sensory, craft, literacy, nature study, and "anything else." If you've seen our daily schedule you'll know that we cover more topics each day than just these. I included those in at the top by writing "first we do morning message, name sign in, circle time, worksheets & dramatic play." And also "after NS (nature study) we do STEM & exercise." Certain plans for any of the subjects we cover that don't get their own section in the lesson plans can go there, so if there's a certain song I'd like to sing during circle time or we're working on a certain sports skills it would go there.
Now on to the actual plans! I'd like to add really quick that anything with an * next to it matches the theme specifically. While I usually try to make all the plans as themed as possible, or at least have ties to the season we're in or some other thing that is going on like a holiday I only put an * next to the things we're doing that are specific to the theme, which this week is turkeys!
Monday start of the themed week: As an introduction to our new theme we used a turkey web that I printed out from here and filled in the bubbles with what comes to mind when we think of turkeys and questions we had about turkeys. We also checked out some turkey books from the library and read them to learn new information and keep track of if any of our questions were answered. Then we filled out the turkeys "can" "have" and "are" worksheet from that same link.
Science: Turkey races with turkey balloon rockets. This is a super fun activity to start the week off with and get kids excited for all of the turkey themed learning they will be doing. + Introduction to our scientist of the month: Isaac Newton, we'll be doing more work related to him in the weeks to come.
Math: My turkey family numbers. For this activity give your child a piece of paper and have them draw the members of their family as turkeys. Then write things like ____ turkeys, ____ eyes, ____ noses, ____ feet, etc. and have them do the math and fill in the numbers.
Rotation Day Subject: Social Studies: Today vs. The Past Sorting. For this activity you can print out a worksheet with pictures from today and the past that your child can cut and glue and sort that way, or you can do what we decided to do and use a dry erase board or a piece of paper to make a venn diagram. This is a good opportunity to talk about venn diagrams if your child isn't already familiar with them. Then proceed to have a discussion with your child about things they can think of about the first Thanksgiving compared to now, such as they didn't have appliances to cook the Thanksgiving meal and we do, the first Thanksgiving lasted 3 days and ours is one day, etc. Also some similarities of course like being thankful, feasting, etc.
Music: Intro to Frederic Chopin. When we do an introduction to a new musician I print out a picture of the musician and put in the frame on my desk, along with an index card with the musicians name on it. We listen to music by that musician, and sometimes I am able to get worksheets to print out. For Frederic Chopin I printed out a crossword puzzle and a copy writing practice sheet with one of his quotes from this pack.
Sensory: Paint pumpkin as prep for globe pumpkin. Get some use out of your pumpkins you probably still have around the house as Thanksgiving decoration and paint it like a globe. You can have your child paint a pie pumpkin blue all over so you can paint the continents on it and things after it dries and then use it as a teaching tool.
Craft: Name Turkey Craft. + famous artwork of the day (Girl with a Pearl Earring)
Literacy: Turkey in the Bag Game. This is such a cute and fun idea for a literacy game. For a more advanced version we decided to say the letter, the sound, and a word that starts with that letter.
Nature Study: Start leaf exploration and record findings in SJ (science journal). Either let your child go outside into nature themselves and gather some leaves and explore them anyway they would like, or bring some inside for them and set up your own activities. I prefer to let my daughter lead the way for our nature studies. The first day in a new nature study is all about exploration and the science journal. I like for the science journal to be earthy tones and materials, with plain white pages inside. I let my daughter record her findings and then I will write the date and a summary of what we were doing.
Anything Else: Turkey themed worksheets. I ended up not printing the pack of turkey themed worksheets I was going to because the work would have been really easy for my daughter. But, they are still super cute for a lot of toddlers/pre-k kids.
Science: Hopping corn experiment. I decided to change this up a bit and do pieces of indian corn instead of popping corn.
Math: Turkey Addition Game. We've been having so much fun with this! It's a great printable to help your kids have fun learning their addition skill.
Rotation Day Subject: Geography: Land formations vocab. + globe pumpkin. For the land formation vocabulary we're going to discuss each of the following: canyon, island, plains, desert, mountain, plateau, volcano, hill, and valley. I will want her to be able to identify these at a later date. The globe pumpkin I talked about in yesterdays plans, today we would be painting on the continents and labeling them.
Music: Further study of Frederic Chopin. This means more listening to his music, reading biographies about him, watching educational videos about him, etc. whatever we can find to study our musician of the week further.
Sensory: Turkey playdough mat. Make some homemade playdough with your child in some fun fall colors and then let them use it with the playdough mat after you've laminated it.
Craft: Turkey color by number & turkey hand prints. Color by number isn't much of a craft but it's fun and helps kids work on their coloring skills and number recognition if they are still needing help with that. For the turkey hand prints let your little one trace their hand on a piece of brown paper or cardboard and cut it out, then give them some fun things like feathers, fake jewels, glitter, googly eyes, etc. to glue on and make it their own. Providing a marker or crayon if they want to draw a face or any other details is a good idea too. + famous artwork of the day (No. 5, 1948)
Literacy: Label the turkey writing. This is the same link as before with what we started out turkey themed week with.
Nature Study: Further study leaves. Check out books from the library about leaves, do leaf rubbings, etc.
Anything Else: Feather tot tray. For this activity give your child a little colander on a tray and a stack of feathers and have them stick them into the holes. This is a good activity to give you some time in between other subjects to prep what you may need or whatever, it's just a fun little brain break that still requires focus and hones fine motor skills.
Science: What happens when you eat without washing your hands experiment. For this experiment you need pieces of bread and ziploc bags. Put one piece of bread into a bag that hasn't been touched by somebodies hands (use tongs, or gloves or something to get it in there), then let your child touch a piece of bread and put it into a ziploc bag without washing their hands, then have them wash their hands and do the same with the next piece of bread. Zip the Ziploc bags and then come back and look at them to see the results and discuss the importance of hand washing.
Math: Turkey numbers & tallying matching cards. This will be the first time my daughter works with tally marks so I thought she would enjoy the introduction if it went along with the turkey theme, and these cards have cute little turkeys on them that will get kids eager to make the matches. I printed out turkey number cards and tally matches 0-5.
Rotation Day Subject: Foreign Language: French Little Pim Video. The foreign language we study is French, and we often watch Little Pim videos that we own or rent from the library.
Music: Further study of Frederic Chopin.
Sensory: Invitation to create playdough turkeys. Set out playdough, cut up pipe cleaners, googly eyes, feathers, orange craft foam triangles, and some playdough tools. I also put out a turkey stuffed animal we have as inspiration, but you could use a picture from a book, a different turkey decoration, etc.
Craft: Paper plate & tissue paper turkey. The third idea on this website. + famous artwork of the day (Dora Maar au Chat)
Literacy: Turkey in the bag game, same game from Monday's lesson plans.
Nature Study: Further study of leaves and continue recording in nature study.
Anything Else: Turkey pokey
Science: Pine cone learning & experiments. Gather some pine cones from outside and conduct some experiments with them. There are so many options, see what direction your child wants to go and follow their lead (sink vs float, looking up information, etc.) Make sure they observe the structure of the pine cones and you talk about why they open and close up.
Math: Five Little Turkeys emergent reader.
Rotation Day Subject: Cooking: Make a pizza turkey. So much fun to do a themed cooking lesson where kids can create a masterpiece out of food and then gobble up all the healthiness!
Music: Further study of Frederic Chopin, continuing to listen to his music during music time. And music theory with a mirror. This is one of our absolute favorite music activities, we use a small dry erase board, but I also love the small mirror idea. Here is where I got the idea, and how to do it.
Sensory: Pumpkin guts mess free exploration. Open up a pumpkin and put some of the guts and seeds into a Ziploc bag so your little one can explore these things and how they work with no mess. I always have my daughter actually dig into a pumpkin herself as well so she gets both types of experiences with the pumpkin guts with this activity.
Craft: Coffee filter turkey. + famous artwork of the day (Cafe Terrace at Night)
Literacy: Thanksgiving writing prompts. You can find some on the internet or even make up your own. Here's a few examples: "pretend you are a turkey, and you don't want to be eaten. How will you escape?" "Our Thanksgiving turkey jumped out of the oven and told us.." "Every year on Thanksgiving our family..." There are various printables for these out there, or you can just give your child a piece of paper and write the prompt on their yourself. I like to just tell my daughter the prompt and let her come up with her story.
Nature Study: Further leaf study.
Anything Else: Turkey Pokey & turkey worksheets.
Science: Erupting pumpkin. Take a little pie pumpkin, carve a face into it, put some colored baking soda inside, and then pour in some vinegar to the top with your child and watch it erupt, over and over again!
Math: Roll a turkey game. I love this because it works on die skills and drawing skills.
Rotation Day Subject: Family Newspaper: Family Newspaper. This is great for literacy as well, but we just do it every Friday. It also helps us to record and remember events in our family. We just write down some events that happened in our family in a newspaper style.
Music: Further/end of Frederic Chopin study. On Friday at the end of our music study we always make an instrument. This week we will be making a kazoo. There are a few different ways out there to do this but I suggest following this post.
Sensory: Cranberry dough. Fun sensory dough for close to Thanksgiving time, my daughter loves making this kind of stuff together and this won't be the first year we've made this, we also love the cranberry oobleck that you can make from this dough.
Craft: Bubble Wrap Turkey. Adorable craft to end a turkey theme with! + famous artwork of the day (Arnolfini Portrait)
Literacy: Color by sight word turkey. Great for helping with coloring skills and reading skills.
Nature Study: Open leaf press. In the beginning of our leaf study we took some leaves and put them in our leaf press, so we will be opening that and seeing how they turned out and crafting with them.
Anything Else: Turkey baster relay race. I like to play a fun game on Fridays, a good gross motor one like this is never a bad idea.