Construction paper in strong fall colors
Sharpie Pen—especially if it's a cool color, such as metallic gold
1. Help your first grader lay her hand down, fingers apart, and trace around it on several different colors. Then have her cut out a set of twelve hands (one for each month of the year).
2. Tilt each paper hand slightly and arrange the group to form a wreath shape—but don't glue yet! On each hand, have your child practice a first grade reading and spelling skill by writing one of the months of the year, starting with January at the bottom and ending, clockwise, with December. If this is too difficult, you can help; but do try to insist that your child write the first letter, to reinforce phonics learning.
3. Below each month name, have your child write one thing she feels thankful for in that month of the year. Maybe it's snow; maybe it's a birthday; maybe it's a special place the family visits. Whatever it is, help your first grader spell out a word or two for every month, and stand by to applaud.
4. This Thanksgiving, join your child in this "hands on" gratitude. Put the wreath on a wall or door near the table, and be thankful together. Invite your child to read what she's written for everyone to enjoy. Tends to make the food taste just that much better…and it's one more boost for your young learner, too.
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