Your students can celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday all month long by creating a Thankful Tree. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Roll of brown bulletin board paper, butcher paper, or packaging paper
- Red, yellow, and orange construction paper or cardstock
- Sticky tack or masking tape
- Fall Leaves
- Bags for collecting leaves
To Make the Tree:
Using the brown paper, create a tree trunk big enough to hold all of leaves you’re going to be adding. Hang the tree trunk on a wall or bulletin board.
Now, head outside with your students and gather some fall leaves. They will be using the leaves as templates, so instruct them to look for larger ones.
Back indoors, have your students place a leaf on a piece of colored construction paper or cardstock and trace around it. Repeat with a different leaf until each student has enough. Cut out the leaves. (To figure out how many leaves you’ll need, count the number of schooldays until Thanksgiving. Students will need one leaf per day.)
Next, have each person think of something he or she is thankful for. That thing can be anything, from a person in their life, a pet, a favorite song, a favorite book, the weather, a favorite memory, or even a favorite meal. Use a marker to write it on a leaf and stick the leaf anywhere in the branches of the tree. As the month goes on, the tree becomes fuller and fuller with beautiful fall leaves. And best of all, your students will be reminded that there is so much to be thankful for.
- After gathering the leaves, use a tree identification guide to find out what kind of trees the leaves came from.
- Create an identification guide of your own by tracing around the leaf on a piece of paper and writing the name beside it. Use the guide to identify other leaves that were collected.
- Take the guide outside and identify the trees.
- Visit your local library to find books about fall or why leaves change color.
Photo by davidpwhalen