Last year, my preschool director took some of us to a conference led by Dr. Jean Feldman. That woman has so many great ideas for teaching . . . I just cannot say that enough. Check her out online here. Try not to get lost in there amid the zillions of ideas Dr. Jean has!
One of her November activities is a Thanksgiving Story Bracelet. It looked like fun, so my preschool kiddos and I made story bracelets this week. For some reason, this group of kiddos absolutely adore making beaded bracelets — more so than I’m used to with this age-group. So why not take that interest and run with it?
Before sitting down with the children to make the bracelets, I typed up the poem. I used a cute font and added some clip art, as I’m a dork and enjoy doing things like that! I had copies made so each child could bring home the poem, along with the bracelet made in class. If you’re interested in what I typed up, visit my Teachers Notebook store for a free copy.
Armed with Dr. Jean’s poem, I proceeded to set up my table. I put out pipe cleaners, a variety of pony beads (white, blue, green, black, red, yellow, and orange), and gold bells. Why bells, you ask? In my infinite wisdom, I didn’t check to see if I had brown pony beads. Guess what? I didn’t. Thousands of pony beads in assorted colors, but no brown. THIS is why I need to be better about double-checking my supplies before starting an activity. Of course, the children weren’t concerned about it. They rather liked the idea of having bells on their bracelets. So novelty worked in my favor!
When the children sat down at my table, I told them we were making a special bracelet about the first Thanksgiving. I told the kiddos to choose a pipe cleaner, then listen as I read them a story. Each time I said a color word, they were to find that color bead and place it on their pipe cleaner. It was definitely interesting to me to see which children followed directions and which children needed more explicit direction. Every child ended up with a story bracelet, and many of them were able to retell the story of the first Thanksgiving when referencing it.
I consider this activity a “win” for multiple reasons —
- It was fun, both for me and for the kiddos.
- It integrated fine motor skills, listening skills, color recognition, sequencing, and social science.
- It was an active way to teach the story of the first Thanksgiving. The students had something to do as we talked about the history behind the holiday.
- The bracelet served as a visual cue to help the kids remember the first Thanksgiving. Having the beads gave each child something solid to refer back to when retelling the story.
Shared on Mom on Timeout’s “Your Creative Timeout Party”, Sugar and Dots’ “What I Whipped Up Wednesday”, Sun Scholars’ For the Kids Friday, No Time for Flash Cards’ Link & Learn, Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas’ Sunday Showcase, and Hands-On as We Grow’s “All With Kids” Pinterest Board.