This is a good opportunity to talk to your own children about what you are doing to get ready for the holiday. Are you cooking already? Will you set the table today?
Ask your child what they think needs to be done to get ready for the holiday. What can they do to help? Children at this age love to help, and if you give them the right tasks, they can do it! Check out Momable’s list of things children can do in the kitchen by age. Or if you don’t want your child helping in the kitchen… they can set the table. Make place cards/placemats or other table decorations.
When people think about Thanksgiving it is usually the food that fills your mind. Let’s start by listening to Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Freedman. Listen to the “rules” to getting the most out of Thanksgiving.
Have your child name things that they smell at Thanksgiving and put them into the poem’s blanks. Then cut pictures out of magazines or grocery store ads to create a Thanksgiving plate.
In the USA, this week is the week to prepare for Thanksgiving. While this year Thanksgiving might look a bit different, it is still important to celebrate and to teach children about giving thanks. Let’s read the story Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes.
In this story, the children think of all the things they are thankful for… so let’s do the same! Have your child draw and write about the things (s)he is thankful for this year. Discuss how even when things are different and difficult we can still ways to see good in life.
While some people might migrate to warmer climates, and others wish they could hibernate all winter… humans have to adapt. For us this means wearing winter clothes, turning the heat on in the house and eating warm foods.
Let’s listen to the story Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle and learn about how a family prepares their farm for the long winter months.
Make a chart of the things you need/have/can to do to get ready for winter.
I could not let this unit go by without sharing the story Fredrick by Leo Leonni. Fredrick is a mouse who should be helping his family gather items for the long winter. But, Fredrick is a dreamer and doesn’t want to gather nuts or other items for winter. Eventually the other mice come to realize that Fredrick did gather something for winter… he gathered memories.
I enjoy this story as it shows children that it isn’t always what you see and touch that is important to “gather”, but there is value in the colors, the textures, the sounds of life.
A fun activity to do with this is to draw to music. Put on instrumental music and have your child draw what he/she feels. What colors do you think of with the music? Do you feel flowing or more choppy? Does the picture maintain a constant feel or does it change as the music changes? This concept of drawing to music often takes a few attempts before children get good at just relaxing and drawing what you feel. It is the visualization of feelings. Some children will draw specific items, and other will draw more abstract. There is no right or wrong… there just is.
In the winter, some animals fur change color. Not all animals with fur change color, but some do and scientist have some ideas as to why. One being that they blend better with the snow. They also believe it might be that the lack of melatonin with creates the color allows for air to be trapped in the hair creating a buffer from the elements.
Hares are one animal that changes color. Not all rabbits change but the Artic hare, mountain hare and snowshoe hare are among those who change. (other animals that change color include: artic fox, Siberian hamsters, Ptarmigans [a type of bird], collard lemmings, peary caribou, and weasels)
We are more than half way through November…. time to look forward. But, I need your help. Do you want me to focus on December holidays or something else? Should I just skip December all together and come back in January?
Have you ever watched any of the live streams of Facebook? I stopped for November but need to know if you want these to reappear now that the weather will be turning colder.
Do you want it to stay focused on the bigger themes or go back to more academic specific focused?
Over the last two weeks, we have discussed how animals get ready for winter. We learned about migration and hibernation. Now lets talk about adaptation. Adaptation is when animals change or adapt to the cold of winter. This change my be a physical change such as the color of their coat or the thickness of their fur.
Let’s listen to the story: Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. In this story we learn about how animals continue to move and live during the snows of winter. You hear about both animals that are hibernating and those that have adapted to the winter environment.
Today let’s create a chart about animals that migrate, hibernate and adapt to winter. You can either focus on a specific ecosystem of animals (a pond, the forest, your backyard etc…) or just list animals in general. I will list pond animals.
I thought we would end our week on hibernation with a fun fiction story. Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows tells the story of many forest creatures getting on a hibernation train.
In the story, you learn about more animals that hibernate: bats, snakes, chipmunks, groundhogs, skunks and more. There is so much more to learn about animals that hibernate. I hope you pick your favorite hibernating animal and learn a bit more.
Let’s draw a picture of the hibernation station train. Where would you put all the animals? Would it be made of logs or something else? Get creative