Area of Study: Fine Arts, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Fine Motor Skills. Ages: 3-6 (extensions for older kids)
Wikki Stix Harvest and Thanksgiving Lesson Plan: an invitation to play, create, and learn!
This lesson plan is designed for children ages 3-6, but many of the activities can be adapted for older children (extensions for older children will be highlighted in red). The lesson plan includes: Literary, Math, Sensory Science, and Craft ideas for Harvest/Thanksgiving.
Literacy with 5 Little Wikki Stix Turkeys
Print the 5 Little Turkeys Poem (download here). Read the poem to the children several times. Once the poem is more familiar, the children will begin repeating the words on their own.
To make the Wikki Stix Turkeys: Set out assorted colors of Wikki Stix on a tray or table. Invite the children to create the five turkeys. There is no wrong or right way to craft with Wikki Stix. For younger children, it may be helpful to make an example of a turkey that the children might copy for their own crafts. The turkeys in the photo were made with brown Wikki Stix spirals and assorted Wikki Stix ovals for the feathers. Older children may wish to create the eyes, nose, wattle, and/or feet for their turkey crafts.
5 Little Turkeys
The 5 Little Turkeys went out to hunt for food.
The 1st one said, “I’m in a THANKFUL mood!”
The 2nd one said, “Let’s go eat some corn!”
The 3rd one said, “It’s a beautiful autumn morn!”
The 4th one said, “I’m filled with GRATITUDE!”
The 5th one said, “I need to change my attitude!”
Then the 5 Little Turkeys ate the corn and sat to rest;
Counting harvest joys and how richly they are blessed!
Discussion and Retelling Activities
Discussion Activity: Ask the children what it means to be thankful and grateful. Most young children have an idea of what those words mean, but they have difficulty explaining it. Children will often express thankfulness for toys, but help the children expand ideas by brainstorming other possibilities (examples: home, family, friends, church, school, food, clothes, activities, teachers, coaches, etc.). Remind the children that using manners to show thankfulness and gratitude to others is always a great idea. Use the phrase “an attitude of gratitude” frequently when giving or receiving kindnesses. The children will catch on quickly and learn that an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude brings joy!
Retelling the Poem: Invite the children to use the Wikki Stix Turkeys to retell the poem. It is fun to listen to younger children retelling poems and stories (it’s a great tool to enhance early communication and literacy skills, too).
Extension for Older Children: Invite the children to play and create a Harvest Wikki Stix diorama from a shoe box and assorted Wikki Stix. The children can create various miniature harvest scenes using the poem above (or another harvest poem or book they are familiar with). After creating, have the children share their harvest scenes by explaining: WHO/WHAT is in the diorama, WHY they chose to create that scene, and HOW they constructed it with Wikki Stix.
Children love riddles! Simple riddles teach the children to listen carefully to verbal clues to make a good prediction!
Download the Harvest Riddles (download here) and read the riddles to the children. Help younger children by pausing slightly after each line is read.
When the children are familiar with the riddles, invite them to make stick puppets to retell the riddles to friends and family with Wikki Stix (and straws or craft sticks)! Remind the children that crows and scarecrows can be different than the example (pictured above). Older children may wish to create more details for the crow or scarecrow! It’s fun to see the various puppets the children make to accompany the riddles! When retelling the riddles, ask the children to keep the Wikki Stix created stick puppets out of sight (behind their backs or under a blanket covered table) until all the riddle’s clues have been given!
Materials needed: One My Turkey Math Book (download here) and assorted Wikki Stix.
Each turkey math mat contains circles for counting a number (1-12). Invite the children to make at least 12 math counters from Wikki Stix. The Wikki Stix can be molded into a ball or shaped into a spiral for use as counters on the individual mats (see photo above). Invite the children to count the white circle(s) on the Turkey Counting Mats and place one Wikki Stix ball inside the white circle(s). The children should count the number out loud as they place the Wikki Stix ball on the math mat. Practice with the children until they can count each number of circles successfully with the Wikki Stix created balls.
Extension Activity: Invite the children to ADD two of the turkey math mats together and write the math sentence that corresponds to the math mats being used (Example: 2+3=5). Children can also do basic subtraction skills by using one of the larger numbered math mats and subtracting a smaller number.
For older children: invite the children to work on multiplication, addition, or subtraction skills using the math mats and the Wikki Stix created ball counters.
Wikki Stix Sensory Smelling Activity
Teaching children to use their sense of smell is a powerful learning tool! This activity can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
Materials needed: Wikki Stix, mounting paper, and an assortment of fall scents/seasonings in powdered form (examples: pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, crushed red pepper flakes, sage, instant coffee grounds, etc.), and one printable recording sheet (download here).
Set out assorted Wikki Stix and paper on a table or a tray. Invite the children to make a large letter T (for Thanksgiving or Turkey) on the paper. Have the children choose ONE spice/seasoning to shake onto the Wikki Stix created letter (the spices will adhere to the Wikki Stix and can be used for a hands-on smelling activity).
If doing the experiment with a group of children, have the children exchange crafts to smell the various other seasonings/scents. If doing the activity with one child, have the child make a separate Wikki Stix letter T for any spice(s) used in the activity.
For older children: have the children smell the scents one at a time and try to determine what scent/seasoning is used. They can record their predictions on the recording sheet provided.
Print the Harvest Thanksgiving Recording Sheet and have the children use Wikki Stix to circle whether they liked or disliked the individual scents used for the experiment.
Olfactory memories are powerful not only for adults, but for children too! Fall scents will often stay with your children long after the activity has ended.
The scented letter crafts can be displayed at home or in the classroom when the activity is finished, if desired.
Harvest Craft Idea to Make, Take, or Give!
Wikki Stix Harvest Corn Craft Materials needed: Assorted Fall Colors of Wikki Stix (purple, brown, green, yellow, orange, red, etc.), Scissors, Mounting Paper, and Corn Husks or Natural Raffia.
Make a tray with assorted fall colors of Wikki Stix (single strands of Wikki Stix should be cut in half prior to the craft). Give the children one sheet of fall colored paper and have them use yellow or brown Wikki Stix to form the oval outline for the corn. The individual kernels of corn are made with ½ strands of Wikki Stix wrapped around to form small spirals.
The children can work on patterning skills while using the different colors of Wikki Stix to form the individual kernels (see photo above). If desired, use corn husks or natural raffia to finish the craft. The husks or raffia pieces can be attached to the Indian Corn Craft with Wikki Stix.
For more Fall and Harvest Craft Ideas, visit the Wikki Stix Blog!