Each year we have a Thanksgiving Feast with both of our Kindergarten classes. We do it a bit different each year. Some years we just make a large fruit salad. Each child brings a piece of fresh fruit or canned fruit and it is put together by the volunteers helping that day.
Then last year we made Vegetable Soup (Stone Soup) after reading the story of Stone Soup. However, we had several children who did not like the soup. They didn't even want to taste it!
We have also had snacks brought in by all the kids. We have had trail mix, pretzels, popcorn, etc. They all help go through a line and pick out what they like before sitting down at the table.
We have also had parents make a full Thanksgiving meal and bring it to school. But, that was a lot of work, and the kids didn't eat very much of the food. We finally have decided that it was a waste of food and time!
Quick and Easy Cornbread
I can't remember the brand of cornbread mix that we buy, but I think it is the Jiffy Cornbread mix. This works with any cornbread mix (or cake mix) that only requires water to be added to the mix. We give each student a small (4 oz bathroom size?) Dixie type cup with his/her name written on the bottom with black permanent marker. The cup needs to be the wax-coated type and have a rim at the bottom that allows the cup to sit up. I hope that makes sense! Each child is given a cup with a large tablespoon of cornbread mix and then approximately one tablespoon of water is added (enough water for it to mix well.) It doesn't have to be exact to work! The student stirs his mix with a craft stick. We use an electric skillet set at 350 degrees. Put all 20 of the cups in the skillet WITH THE LID ON. No water is needed in the bottom of the skillet. I had a hard time believing that this would work the first time I did it, but it does work! The cups did not burn! It only takes about 15-20 minutes to "bake." Each child is able to peel the paper cup off and have a nice little muffin. This works well for Thanksgiving feasts. It also works great for gingerbread muffins, etc. Any mix that only requires water to be added.
We don't have a large cafeteria or place have everyone sit together, so we do it in our classroom. We put a large piece of butcher paper (bulletin board paper) on the floor and have the children all sit as if at a very large table.
Click on each picture to enlarge.
The Legend of the Five Kernels
This is a little party favor that we give each child to help explain how difficult the first winter was for the Pilgrims. We put five candy corn kernels in a small circular piece of net type fabric. You can buy the bridal netting that is precut, but it is more expensive. We attach the small bag of five candy corn kernels to the story with a ribbon. It doesn't scan very well, but you can get an idea. (see story below)
The Legend of the Five Kernels
The first winter the Pilgrims spent in their new home food was very scarce. Some days there was only enough for five kernels of corn. From then on, every Thanksgiving the Pilgrims put five kernels of corn on each plate to remind themselves of their blessings. Let us also remember!
The first kernel reminds us of the autumn beauty around us.
The second kernel reminds us of our love for each other.
The third kernel reminds us to be grateful for all we have.
The fourth kernel reminds us of our friends.
The fifth kernel reminds us that we live in a free country.