Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving: Pre-K and Family Storytime

We talked briefly about being thankful and about what makes Thanksgiving fun! 

*I am thankful for my co-workers who help me with props and puppets so that stories really come to life:

Me (Miss Tara)              Lesley                        Erica


Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson.  Bear thanks his friends for bringing food to his dinner party.

Props for Bear Says Thanks:

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson.  You know how it goes!

I really, really shortened this book by skipping the repetitious text and the part about dieing.  My co-worker* assembled the flannel pieces as I read.  The different sized skirts are added to the old lady as she gets bigger and bigger.

I'm a Turkey by Jim Arnosky.  I love this book and the fact that Scholastic provides a free MP3 download of Jim Arnosky's recorded "spoken word song".  (Not in our catalog)

See book here
Listen to recording here

Game:  Mouse View

We pretended to be little mice looking at Thanksgiving foods close up and had to guess what they were.

Music / Movement:

CD:  "Turkey Dance" (not in our catalog)

Move your elbows to the turkey dance
Move your elbows to the turkey dance
Stomp your feet and shout, "Hooray!"
It's Thanksgiving Day!

... hips
... knees
... head
... whole body

CD:  "Wobble, Wobble, Wobble" (not in our catalog)

Wobble, wobble, wobble goes the turkey
Gobble, gobble, gobble's what he says
Turkeys spread their feathers on Thanksgiving Day
And then they run (FLY)** away

**I sing FLY loudly to encourage kids to flap their wings rather than run!

Colorful scareves make the kids a bunch of colorful turkeys!


"The Turkey Trot"

Oh, you turkey to the left
You turkey to the right
You heel, toe, heel, toe
and scratch with all your might

You flap your turkey wings
While your head goes bobble, bobble, bobble
Then you turn around and say,
"Gobble, gobble, gobble!"

Game with flannel turkeys: 

This is a rhyming game I came up with while using the flannel turkeys I made for the kids to hold (and then give back). I made about 50 of them and use them every year so it was worth the time to make them.  The kids love them!

 Olivia holding a turkey after storytime:
"Bibbity Boppity Boo: A turkey sat on my shoe"

... bed / head
... binger / finger
... etc.

Flannel: Turkey wore his feather

Poor turkey has no feathers!  (Perceptive children also point out that he has no feet LOL).  We sang the song below as I added feathers.

Turkey wore his red feather, (pat knees)
red feather, red feather (pat knees)
Turkey wore his red feather (pat knees)
And flapped his wings (flap)

... red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple ...
I let some groups pick a feather to hold up when we got to their color.  It certainly wasn't essential and could easily be a distraction in some groups.
Some Pre-K kids posing with their feathers:

 A bit blurry, but how great is the evening Family Storytime group?  I love how all the adults and kids get fully engaged in every activity!


  1. Thanks for the information on k-6 tutoring. That level in school is really essential because it's when kids get their basic skills needed for the high school. It's very important that they fully understand their lessons.

  2. Hi Tara,
    I just love your blog! Just a couple quick questions: how did you use the laminated food pictures with Karma Wilson's book? I wonder if I could do something similar with her lovely Christmas book...and I also wondered from an earlier post (Spiders) what your "flannelboard" was made from for the large web. My neighbour made me a great portable easel, but I would like to have a larger board as well.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Lois Burgess

    1. I used the laminated foods in a VERY simple way. The pictures in the book were quite small, so I used the clip art to help the kids see what was going on. I spread out the bandana ("picnic blanket") when bear had the idea to make a feast. As each animal appeared in the book with a food item, my co-worker puppeteered the bear to take the food in him mouth and make "Mmmm" noises and then place the food item on the picnic blanket. 3D or flannel foods may have been more impressive, but laminated clip art does the trick too!

      I have a fairly large flannel board, but it simply wouldn't have been big enough for the spider activity as I envisioned it. I bought a large piece of black felt off the roll from a craft store and used large binder clips to clip it to my large, wooden rolling storytime storage cart. I happened to have made and glued the web onto the black flannel piece so I can only use that side as a web, but i supposed I could just flip it around and use the blank side for other large flannels.