Thanksgiving craft projects for first graders are fun and educational. There are many ways to integrate teaching of Thanksgiving to this age group. I have found in my experience as a homeschool teacher that adding craft projects to the curriculum makes learning fun and the children retain more information. Here are 8 projects that any first grader will love.
Corn husk dolls are a great way to demonstrate how children of that time frame lived. These are easy to make. Just get enchilada wrappers or you can use regular corn husks. Twist several together for the arms. Tie the ends together. Fold another husk or wrapper in half. Tie about ¼ of the way down from the folded edge for the head. Place the twisted part in between the layers of the body and tie to secure. Use twine to tie the doll. You can add more husks to the body for a dress. Trim to make the doll symmetrical. Have the children use a sharpie to make the face. Use corn silk for hair.
Another Thanksgiving craft project for first graders is making corn meal. All you need is dried corn, snack sized zippered bags, construction paper, and each child will need a smooth rock and cutting board or mortar and pestle. Have them grind the corn by hand. They only need a handful of corn as this will take some time. Place the corn meal into the zippered bag. Have them write a short composition telling about how they made the cornmeal.
Finger puppets are a good craft project for first graders. Using brown and cream colored construction paper, make Pilgrim finger puppets. Using brown, tan, and other colors make Native American finger puppets. Then the first graders can act out the first Thanksgiving with the newly made puppets.
A centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table is a great Thanksgiving craft for first graders. Use common Thanksgiving symbols such as mini pumpkins, gourds, dried corn, and turkeys. Arrange these in a construction paper basket. Have the children write about what each symbol represents from the first Thanksgiving.
Invite parents to come to a Thanksgiving celebration. Have all of the first graders bring in something to make soup. Try to keep it meat free. This craft will show how the community came together during the first Thanksgiving by sharing what they had.
Bake cornbread with your first graders for a Thanksgiving craft. Have them write out the recipe on construction paper, and then decorate the paper with Thanksgiving die cuts. Baking is a great math and science activity. There are fractions, geometry, and chemical reactions to discuss as well as the significance of corn bread.
Thanksgiving crafts for first graders can include a cornucopia. You can make one out of heavy cardboard. Have it open at the top so it can be “filled”. Have the kids color it as they see fit. Then they can cut out fruits and vegetables to fill it. Explain why a cornucopia is a symbol of Thanksgiving.
The final Thanksgiving craft for first graders involves reading a Native American folktale from the Mohican or Iroquois tribe. Make a coloring page to accompany the folktale. Have the children color the page. Talk about the significance of the Native Americans to the survival of the Pilgrims. Ask if they think the Pilgrims would have survived that first year without the aide of the Native Americans.
Thanksgiving is a great time to learn about Native Americans and about the settling of the New World. Taking time to explore this subject with crafts is a fantastic way to teach first graders about the first American settlers. Thanksgiving crafts for first graders are a teaching tool to be integrated into the history curriculum