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The First Thanksgiving: Cornucopia & Native American Activites For Kindergarten Students

written by: ARobin • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 10/27/2012

This is part of an ongoing series of harvest lesson plans created for a kindergarten classroom. In this installment, the class will be learning about Thanksgiving, specifically about the Native Americans. The children will learn facts through games, math and language skills, and art projects.

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    The Final Lesson

    Friday's lesson will be the conclusion to the week of learning about the Indian Nation and contributions to the first Thanksgiving. Here are the things that you will need to present today's lesson in its fullest capacity:

    • 9 x12 brown construction paper
    • Cornucopia (can be purchased in the holiday section or the floral section of your local craft store)
    • Assortment of construction paper, cut into 1 inch strips (at least 15 strips for each child)
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    Circle Time Discussion

    Review Native American facts. Cranberry Thanksgiving 

    Review facts learned about the first Thanksgiving.

    Show children the cornucopia. Explain to them that it is also called the "horn of plenty".

    Ask the children why it is called a "horn of plenty"?

    Discuss the variety of fruits and vegetables that are in the cornucopia.

    Read Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin

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    Woven Placemats

    Provide the children with strips of construction paper.

    On the table in front of each child, lay out 5 strips horizontally, from top to bottom. Instruct the children to lay the strips with a finger's width space between each strip.

    Explain how to weave the remaining strips in a vertical pattern. In may be beneficial to tape to the table, the 5 strips of horizontal pattern.

    Assist the children with carefully weaving each strip in and out.

    The end result should be a small woven placemat.

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    Play Dough

    Provide the children with play dough.

    Instruct them to create fruit that might have been included in the cornucopia.

    Both the placemat and the play dough activities enhance the children's fine motor skills.

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    Math Skills

    Feather Addition

    Practice addition and subtraction problems by working with the feathers.

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    Language Skills


    Children will play the fishing game, which has been introduced in another lesson plan. If you haven't seen that lesson, you will need:

    • Short stick or dowel with string (a fishing pole)

    • Small magnet at the end of the string

    • Pre-cut fish with paper clips on each

    On each fish, draw a picture symbol. Children should take turns fishing, and explaining what word the picture symbolizes. In a variation, have the children identify the picture symbol located on the fish, and encourage them to tell a brief story using the picture.

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    Outline a shape of the cornucopia on each brown piece of construction paper. (Or: Draw it on one paper and copy it onto brown copy paper.)

    Instruct children to cut out the horn.

    Save it for next week's lesson, when the children will fill the cornucopia with a fruit and vegetable activity.

Kindergarten Harvest Lesson Plans: Indians

This is a series of harvest themed lesson plans created for the kindergarten classroom. In this portion of the lesson plans, the children will learn about Indians and their contribution to the first Thanksgiving. Facts will be presented in the form of activities, skill development and art projects.
  1. Kindergarten Native Americans Lessons: Monday
  2. Kindergarten Native American Lesson: Tuesday
  3. Wednesday in Native Americans Kindergarten Unit
  4. Native Americans & The First Thanksgiving Kindergarten Lesson: Thursday
  5. The First Thanksgiving: Cornucopia & Native American Activites For Kindergarten Students