Thanksgiving is one of the favorite times of year for many people. It gives us an opportunity to remember all that we have and to show thanks for the many things that bless our lives. Many events and lessons at school teach and remind us about the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday and the reason that we still celebrate it. Teachers have the ability to make Thanksgiving very special for their students and children. Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving bulletin boards for teachers.
Some of the most common themes for Thanksgiving are the pilgrims, fall season and colors, horns of plenty or cornucopias, and of course, turkeys.
The story of the pilgrims is one that still inspires today and allows us to reflect on the blessed beginning of our country and the history that has allowed us to enjoy the freedoms we do today. Their sacrifice, along with many of our ancestors, has made our nation what it is today and has allowed for us to have so many blessings. Some fun ideas to use pilgrims in your bulletin board include just making a scene that reenacts the story of the first Thanksgiving. Make sure that the story is told and the significance is explained so that the students understand what the images mean. There are many stores online and otherwise that offer cutouts or pictures of pilgrims and Indians that you could use in your display. You can also incorporate the theme of the fall season and the harvest into your bulletin board by making a tree out of real or paper leaves and then making the first Thanksgiving scene under the tree. You can also use dried gourds or squash or multicolored corn to add a three-dimensional look to your board. But keep in mind that you can’t put too much weight on your board unless you have the right backing and the right things to hold it up. A board with too much weight, even though it might look very nice, won’t give much enjoyment for long if it falls off the wall and smashes all your hard work.
You can also use the theme of a horn of plenty or a cornucopia as the basis for your bulletin board. These are a representation of the many things that we have and are a symbol that the most important things in life last forever and never run out. There are many variations you can use on this theme to get your students involved and having fun. Have each student think about what they are the most thankful for in their lives and have them write it down on a piece of paper, the same for each child, and then put them all inside the horn of plenty on your bulletin board. You can also have your students look through magazines and find pictures of the things they are most grateful for and have them cut out the pictures and paste those inside the cornucopia. You could also do the same things by having the students draw the pictures themselves.
Perhaps the most popular theme for Thanksgiving is the turkey. It has so many opportunities to give a whimsical and colorful presence to anything that it is used in. You will need to make the body of the turkey and your students will take care of the fanned tail. Make sure that the size of the turkey will fit the constraints of your bulletin board and your class size. Everyone needs to be able to participate. You can make feathers out of fall colored construction paper and have your student write their thanks on them. You can also have each student trace and cut out the shape of their hand and write the same things on them. Then paste the feathers or hand prints behind the turkey to make the tail and each student will be able to see their own contribution to the class bulletin board.