Thanksgiving Ideas


This was posted on Yahoo Groups by Lara in Idaho and had TONS of ideas for singing time this month…if you missed it, here it is again! Thanks Lara for posting this!!

UPDATE: A lot of these ideas I’ve turned into actual lesson plans with printables that can be found throughout my website HERE!

Here are some November ideas I’ve done, many taken from this site. I’m also trying the “Disguise the Turkey” that was discussed here a week or two ago.

We like to do “For Health and Strength”

Have 5 kids come up front and act out each part:

For health- run in place
and strength- flex muscles
and daily food- hold loaf of bread / bag of carrots, etc.
we praise thy name- fold arms, bow head
O Lord.- picture of Christ

Then do as a round.

We also do “Early to bed and early to rise. As an attention-getter, I brought a $100 bill in and showed the kids to introduce the song and explain that it was Benjamin Franklin who said this and said many wise things like a penny saved is a penny earned, etc.

Early to bed (Pretend to sleep)
And early to rise (Pretend to wake)
Makes a man healthy (strong muscles)
And wealthy (Pretend you have money in hand)
And wise. (Point to brain)

And It’s Autumntime: get silk leaves at the Dollar Store and give each child several leaves and let them drop them to the ground in the song.

Children All Over the World:

All over the world at the end of day, -outline “earth”, ASL day/night
Heav’nly Father’s children kneel down and pray, -picture of child kneeling
Each saying thank you in his own special way, -ASL “thank,” make an “O” with hands
Saying thank you, thank you in his own special way.-ASL “thank,” make an “O” with hands
“Gracias.” (grah-see-ahs) “Malo.” (mah-loh) “Wir danken dir.” (veer don-ken deer) -use posters
All over the world tender voices hear. -pan arm all over the room, ASL “voice,” point to ear
Some say “tak,” (tahk) others “merci,” (mare-see) -use posters
“Kansha shimasu,” (kahn-shah shee-mah-sŭ) we thank thee.-poster
Our Heavenly Father hears them; -point to ear
He understands each tongue. -point to and stick out tongue
Our Heav’nly Father knows them; -point to temple/forehead
He loves them, loves them, ev’ry one. -“love,” pan the room with arm
I made posters of a child in each of the countries and cut out the faces so the kids could put their own heads in the posters. Certainly more work, but the kids love it and learned the song quickly. I can email you the pictures that I used and how I did it, but they could be easily drawn, probably faster.

Thanksgiving Sing-A-Story

Make a large picture book using a posterboard for each cover and butcher paper pages inside. Write Harvest Time on the cover and draw some pumpkins & cornstalks. Display the pictures listed below and read the story to the children. Let them fill in the blanks by choosing the picture that best completes the statement. After they fill in the blank, they sing the song and you tape the picture into the book. There are more songs than you may have time to sing.

I made pictures on my computer and had the kids paste them on the board as they filled in the story.

Suggested pictures and songs:
1. Mayflower…….. (story only)
2. Cabin…….……. “Home” – pg 192
3. Fruits and vegetables....”The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden” 237
4. Fall leaf……..…..”Autumn Day” 247
5. Pilgrims….…….(story only)
6. Feasting ……. “A song of Thanks.” 20
7. Indians…..….”Book of Mormon Stories” 118
8. Turkey ……..”Thanksgiving Round” 21 (I used ³For Health and Strength)
9. Prayer………”Thank Thee, Father” 24

1. The pilgrims came to America on the (1).
2. They needed a place to live so the pilgrims built a log __(2)_.
3. They worked very hard planting and harvesting __(3)__.
4. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in the __(4)__.
5/6. The __(5)__ set aside this special day for __(6)__ and thanking God.
7. More than eighty friendly (7)__ came to the feast.
8. The Indians brought wild (8)__ and venison to share.
9. Three days were spent in feasting and __(9)__.

(I just used large sheets of paper, wrote the “story,” left a space for the pictures, made a brown poster board for covers, laminated all of it, and bound it with rings. I also re-titled it “The First Thanksgiving.” )

Previously, I used these songs:

1. Mayflower…….. “Nephi’s Courage” p. 120 (2nd verse only) (Who else built a boat and traveled to a new land?)
2. Cabin…….……. “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” p. 281
3. Fruits and vegetables.... “Faith” p. 96 (“Faith is like a little seed…”)
4. Fall leaf……..….. “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” p. 228
5. Pilgrims….……. “The Things I Do” p. 170
6. Feasting ……. “For Health & Strength” p. 21
7. Indians…..….”Book of Mormon Stories” p. 118
8. Turkey …….. “Thanks to Our Father” p. 20
9. Prayer……… “My Blessings” (The Friend)

In between reading & singing, we discussed each “page” or song and how it related to the First Thanksgiving, or its spiritual significance. Also, obviously you will want to choose songs that your kids know. Or you can use a song they are unfamiliar with and play a game with it, do an activity like musical instruments or scarves or wind wands to the CD, etc.

-PIN THE FEATHER ON THE TURKEY, each feather is a song to sing, or a phrase to repeat if you’re learning a new song.

Do “I am Glad for Many Things” as a “fill in the blank.” Laminate it and use dry erase markers or just write it on the board in a pinch: If this doesn’t come through well, I can do it as an attachment later.

I am glad for
I am glad for
that are mine today.

Thank you,
thank you,
my heart sings, my heart sings, my heart sings,
Thank you for the
that are mine today

“I am glad for Many Things” (CS, 151) – if you read the words it’s very appropriate for Thanksgiving. Then after they know it well I was thinking that I would have a turkey with feathers made out of paper sticking out of it and the children could take turns selecting a feather. On the feathers would be things that we are grateful for (alternatively, you could have the children come up with their own things they are grateful for). Then we would sing it using the things that they are grateful for in place of the words, “many things”. Here’s a few examples I thought of:

I am glad for “my family”
I am glad for “food to eat”
I am glad for “clothes to wear”
I am glad for “teachers dear”
I am glad for “grandparents”
I am glad for “eyes to see”
I am glad for “ears to hear”
I am glad for “health and strength”

You can change the last phrase to be “that are mine today” or “that is mine today” depending on what works better.

-Bring an object to be passed from child to child. Like a small pumpkin or turkey stuffed animal (you can adapt your object to a theme). While singing the song pass the object, when the song ends the child holding the object shares something they are thankful for.

– Divide the Sr. Primary into groups of 5. Each group has to answer the following:
1. What is your favorite temple?
2. What is a gospel principle that brings you blessings?
3. Who is your favorite Book of Mormon hero?
4. Who is someone you look up to in our ward?
5. Who is your favorite person in the Bible?
Once they have their answers, each group will come up and sing the 2nd verse of “I Am Glad for Many Things” using their answers to fill in the blanks.

An example might be:
Thank you for the Spokane temple, ti-i-thing, and Nephi. Thank you for our Bi-i-shop and No-o-o-o-ah!
Each group will have different answers so it will be fun to hear what they are thankful for. In order to modify for Jr. Primary just ask the children the questions and write their answers on the board. After singing their verse, repeat the process using other children’s answers.


Then this next idea was posted on Facebook and it’s totally simple, easy and fun (find the original post HERE but you will need to be a member of the group to access it)…

To the tune of Here We Are Together (Primary Songbook 261),

“Let’s count our many blessings, our blessings, our blessings; Let’s count our many blessings in our primary. There’s _____ and ________ and _____ and ________. Let’s count our many blessings each and every day!”

And before we sing it, I’ll have 4 helpers come up and say one thing they’re grateful for and hand them a turkey to hold. They can stay up and when we fill in the blanks, we’ll point to the child and say their gratitude.

Those 4 helpers will then take their turkeys and pass them off to good, reverent singers of their choice and repeat until everyone has had a turn.

We’re going to learn the 3 “round” songs she has posted here. For Sr. Primary we’ll try to see how many groups we can get going. Our Jr. Primary is very young so we’ll only do For Health and Strength and have the teachers help us with the rounds. I’ll also use the bells for the Jr. Primary. There are 7 notes in this song. I’ll have the bell notes in order, have 7 kids come stand up front and I’ll stand behind them. I’ll touch their heads when their note is to be played. Does that make sense? We’ll probably do some of the actions listed above as well.


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