This week I planned a multiple intelligence study unit for the book, T is for Turkey by Tanya Lee Stone. Not only is this a fun alphabet book with adorable pictures, it contains lots of good information about the Thanksgiving holiday. (I learned some new information too.)
As I planned this study unit, I kept the needs of my grandsons in mind.
- Tigger, 6, already had some knowledge of Thanksgiving, so I wanted to build on this. He would most likely be able to read or decode several words on each page, so I would probably have him read several of the pages with me on the second or third read throughs. Tigger would also benefit from recognizing rhyming words in the story. Additionally, I wanted him to memorize the date in the story.
- Kona, 4, knows short vowels and most consonants, so I would focus on having him repeat initial sounds of the keyword on each page. He’s at an age when he should be learning some basic facts about Thanksgiving. Since he loves cooking and dramatic play, I definitely wanted to include those type of activities. Crafts should be designed that would develop his fine motor skills.
- Tahoe, 2, will really enjoy the pictures in the book, so I’ll spend a lot of time discussing what he sees in the pictures. He will probably enjoy dramatic play and other physical activities. His crafts will focus on shapes and gluing.
I always over plan, and I may list more than one activity for each intelligence so I have choices. If you use this study unit, it is best to do at least one activity from each intelligence, but don’t feel that you need to use every activity I described. This was planned as a four day unit. Each day I read the book to them and provided two other activities from this list.
Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
- Read the book T is for Thanksgiving daily..
- Discuss the rhyming words on each page.
- Discuss the sound each alphabet letter makes at the beginning of the keyword on each page.
- Make a list of foods served at the first Thanksgiving as shown in the pictures or mentioned in the story.
Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number Smart)
- Have two youngest grands count the number of letters in the alphabet as you turn each page.
- Create math problems based on the story or pictures. For example, “If two Wampanoags and three colonists sit at the same table, how many people will that be?”
- Have oldest grand write or trace the year 1620 on some paper or on a rock in the yard. Teach him how to pronounce this year.
- Show oldest grand how to subtract 1620 from the current year.
Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)
- Find Cape Cod on a map or globe. You can also trace the voyage on a globe starting at England, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, and ending at Massachusetts.
- Make a poster of foods eaten at the first Thanksgiving by drawing pictures or cutting them out of magazines.
- Turkey Crafts-I planned two different crafts for the grands:
The first craft was chosen for Tigger and Kona. For the body and wattle of the turkey I had them fold different size (and color) pieces of construction paper and drew a “half heart” along the fold for them to cut. They also used scraps of construction paper for the head, eyes, beak, legs, and feet. These were all glued to a larger piece of construction paper. The feathers were created the day before using paper towels, markers, and small drops of water from an eye dropper or straw.(Ooooh, Science!) To make each feather, they drew a dark line with a marker on a piece of paper towel. I actually had the grands draw over the line three times with the marker to make sure there was plenty of of ink on the paper towel. Then I had them carefully place small drops of water from a straw all along the line. (An eye dropper would be easier, but we didn’t have one. To use the straw method, I added 1/4 inch of water to a cup. For each drop, one of the grands dipped the straw into the cup to capture some water. He placed a finger on top of the straw before lifting the straw out of the cup to keep the liquid inside the straw. Next he put the straw on the marker line and lifted his finger from the top of the straw to release the water. We practiced this first before using the straw method on the marker lines. Make sure to stay on the line when releasing the water, otherwise you won’t get the desired effect. Repeat this method until water is placed all along the line.) The “capillary” action of the water on the paper towel will spread the ink to make a “feathery” look. I let the paper towels dry thoroughly before cutting them into feather shapes and having the grands glue them on the turkey picture. (See pictures below for more clarification.)
The second craft had less steps and was planned for Tahoe. I cut construction paper circles for the body and head of the turkey. I also cut out eyes, a beak, and legs from scrap paper. He glued these onto another piece of construction paper. Then I used some leaf foam stickers we already had around the house to become the “feathers” for the turkey. I had to begin peeling the paper on the back for him, and he peeled the rest. Then I showed him the spot to place the leaf on the turkey. (See the last picture below for Tahoe’s finished product.)
Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)
- Play Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” while doing craft activities or when reading the book aloud.
- Transform “Old McDonald Had a Farm” into “Plymouth Pilgrims Had a Feast” and add verses to go along with information from the book such as…
“Plymouth Pilgrims had a feast,
and at this feast they ate some corn,
with a kernel here, and a kernel there,
kernel here, kernel there, lots of kernels everywhere,
Plymouth Pilgrims had a feast,
Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)
- Guessing Game- After reading the book several times, have the youngest grand say an alphabet letter and have the older grands say the keyword from the story to match the letter.
- Cooking- We made a corn pudding recipe I found online. I adjusted the directions slightly by having the grands add all ingredients except the butter in a mixing bowl (so they didn’t have to work with a hot buttered casserole dish). I also had them add two eggs, which other reviewers of the recipe had recommended. After they mixed all the other ingredients, I poured the concoction into the hot buttered casserole dish, stirred again, and placed the dish in the oven. Tahoe set the timer for 30 minutes, but I kept the pudding in the oven about ten more minutes because it didn’t look done after 30 minutes. The two youngest grands had this for their mid-morning snack when it came out of the oven. Here is the link for the recipe:
Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)
- Visit a farm stand or actual farm to see what foods are being harvested at this time of year.
- Plant seeds for beans, squash, or any vegetable that will grow this time of year in your geographic location.
- Walk around the neighborhood or park. Notice the rocks that you see on your walk. Do you think any if them are large enough to be Plymouth Rock? If you see a special rock, give it a name.
Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)
- Ask each grand to name their favorite page in the story.
- Ask each grand what they are thankful for at this time of the year.
- Give each grand the opportunity to explore this book or other Thanksgiving themed books by themselves.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)
- Dramatic Play-Reenact the first Thanksgiving meal. Don’t forget to use the phrase “Good Morrow ” as you greet each other.
- Gathering Logs-Place several packaged paper towel rolls at one end of a room or hallway. Have a grand start at the other end of the room or hallway and run to collect one log. Then return to the starting line to stack the “log”. Repeat back and forth until all the “logs” have been collected. (Sorry the pictures below are blurry, but my camera is not very good at focusing on running toddlers).
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