Thanksgiving brings images of spending time with loved ones, eating delicious food, and making special memories. Kids love to share their own traditions, and work on their speech and language goals can focus on these topics. Thanksgiving is a great time to tie in to their families and ask how they celebrate and whether they have special dishes, treats, or traditions that are part of their feast.
Time for a Thanksgiving Tale
Why not use Thanksgiving to participate in a book walk? There are books for children of all ages to use, and many focus on different parts of the holiday. A silly story that will encourage a lot of discussion is There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson. This incorporates familiar items from a Thanksgiving feast. We encourage school-based pros to consider a bonus activity of singing along to the familiar tune together when you read it after the book walk. Talk about items in the book, have they had them for their Thanksgiving meal? In what way is their meal similar or different?
Thanksgiving Foods and Traditions
Take turns sharing how each person celebrates Thanksgiving or another holiday that is big for their family. Pull out some items and allow kids to draw what their perfect Thanksgiving meal would look like. They could make an elaborate table with settings for each family member. People that they would like to invite could be drawn. Of course, the foods that they would love to eat at this special meal should be included. Take time to chat about Thanksgiving vocabulary and encourage everyone to utilize the words when they share their drawing with the group.
Songs for Thanksgiving
Singing silly songs is a wonderful way to get kids to let their fears go and practice using their language skills. This helps even the most shy and scared child smile and participate. There are a variety of Thanksgiving songs that use familiar tunes to sing about this holiday. A fun song by an unknown author is Thanksgiving Dinner and you sing it to the tune of Frere Jacques.
We eat turkey, we eat turkey.
Oh, so good, Oh so good.
Always on Thanksgiving, always on Thanksgiving.
Yum – yum – yum! Yum – yum – yum!
Second Verse: Mashed potatoes
Third Verse: Pie and ice cream
Fourth Verse: Homemade biscuits
Fifth Verse: Turkey dressing
Whatever Thanksgiving items you do, kids will see the enthusiasm you have for the holiday. Enjoy sharing things about your family celebrations and encourage them to participate. Embracing cultural pride is important, and something everyone can be thankful for.