Cranberry Thanksgiving

Cranberry Thanksgiving Book Cover

We were so excited to start rowing Cranberry%20Thanksgiving (Cranberryport)Cranberry Thanksgiving.  We started our morning with hot cereal, dried cranberries, and a fun science activity.


I read Cranberry Thanksgiving while the kids were gobbling up their breakfast.

We read Time for CranberriesTime for Cranberries and I brought out some fizzy water, clear plastic cups, and small medicine cups filled with dried cranberries.

I gave the kids the plastic cups and they took turns pouring some fizzy water.

Then I passed our the little cups of dried cranberries and instructed them to dump them in and watch what happened…they danced!  They watched as the berries went up and down and up again.

img_6582-1.jpgI pulled up a Dancing Cranberries post (The Stem Laboratory) and we talked about the science behind it.

img_6580-1.jpgThe cranberries float to the surface, because they are covered with many carbon dioxide bubbles.  Carbon Dioxide is lighter than water and will make the berries float if enough bubbles cover the surface of the berry.  The bubbles pop once they reach the surface which makes the berries fall back down.  This process repeats itself over and over again which makes the cranberries  dance!


Memory Verse:

We chose to memorize Psalm 92:1 for this row.  I created a Bible verse printable that you can purchase from our TPT store.

There’s a FREEbie tracer in the Preview!

The boys traced their Bible verse and added it to their lapbooks.

Jordan continued to work on his Bible verse puzzle throughout this row.


We tried to keep a theme of being thankful and giving thanks to the Lord during this unit.

We read Give%20Thanks to the LordGive Thanks to the Lord, Thanksgiving: What Makes It Special?Thanksgiving, What Makes it Special?, and Let’s%20Celebrate God’s Blessings on Thanksgiving (Holiday Discovery Series)Let’s Celebrate God’s Blessings on Thanksgiving.

Autumn Blessing Tree:

We transformed our Apple Tasting Tree into an Autumn Blessing Tree.  We continued to taste new varieties of apples, but we also started adding thanksgiving leaves.

The kids wrote what they were thankful for on a leaf shape and added it to the tree throughout the Thanksgiving season.


New England States:

We read Massachusetts and added some New England facts to our lapbooks.  The inserts were from a states booklet I found years ago in a Target dollar bin and they came in handy for this row.

img_6621We enjoyed a taste of New England with our Trader Joe’s clam chowder, cranberry juice, and oyster crackers.  All three kids LOVED it!

History of Thanksgiving:

We recently studied the history of Thanksgiving in Parker’s Sonlight Core A history lessons.  We also read a few fiction and non-fiction books about Thanksgiving too.

Past & Present:

Much has changed since the days of the pilgrims, but many things have remained the same.

img_7082We read Family%20Life in the U.S.A.: Then and Now: Early Fluent Plus (Nonfiction Readers) by Maya Franklin (2008-02-20)Family Life in the U.S.A. Then & Now on our Epic app.  I gave the kids a then and now worksheet to complete and add to their lapbooks.

Squanto & the Pilgrims:

We read Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving.  We love how God used the negative circumstances in Squanto’s life to protect him from the sickness that wiped out his entire village.  This is a great life lesson for all of us.

Squanto and the Miracle of thanksgiving.jpg

The kids wanted to make Native American vests again this year, so I quickly cut apart some Trader Joe bags and set them out along with our Native American symbol cards and drawing supplies.


The kids were SO excited and immediately started decorating their vests.

I turned on our Native American music from our Thanksgiving playlist and the kids danced over and over again!  They had a blast.


While they were dancing, I put together our Squanto SNACKtivity!

The kids came to the kitchen dressed in their vests and headresses.  They looked so cute and were SUPER excited to eat their sugary snack!

img_7029The kids built their snack while we reviewed how Squanto showed the pilgrims how to plant corn by digging a hole (the green sprinkled doughnut was the ground with a hole), placing a few seeds (candy corn) and a couple of fish (Swedish Fish), and covering it with dirt (mini oreo cookie).

img_7039Then they gobbled it all up!  Wish the veggies disappeared this quickly 🙂



img_6564We talked about the setting of the story and how it was illustrated in the book.  I set up a cranberry farm inspired story bin.

The boys were excited to put the story box together.  First we added our black beans.


We positioned the Janod Story Box FarmJanod Story Box Farm in the back and the boys sprinkled fall leaves on top.


Then they added some woodland creatures and our characters (Grandma, Maggie, Mr. Whiskers, and Mr. Horace).  I sprinkled some cranberries (Christmas berry sprigs) on top!


Their cranberry farm looked adorable and stayed in our Learning Lane the entire time we rowed this book!

Elements of a Good Story:

We reviewed the elements of a good story using our FIAR Fold and Learn printable (free resources when you subscribe).


Jordan added them to his lapbook.

Autumn Rhymes:

Breakfast with Bear:

One morning we started our day with breakfast with Bear%20Says Thanks (The Bear Books)Bear Says Thanks.  I gave each boy a copy of our Bear Says Thanks Rhyming Pairs worksheet.


The boys followed along as we read through the book, searching for the matching rhyming words.

Once they were done find the words, they spent a little time coloring the worksheet.

Autumn Rhyme Hunt:

I created a set of CVC Autumn Rhyming Cards that you can purchase from our TPT store.  There’s a sample FREEbie in the preview too!

Autumn Rhymes.jpg

The night before, I printed our Autumn Rhyming Cards, cut them apart, and hid them throughout the classroom.

The boys went to the classroom to find all the hidden autumn rhyme cards.

img_6768The boys used the glass slider to match their Autumn rhyming cards.

Parker also used the rhyming cards in our educational cubes for a roll-a-rhyme game with Mommy!

Falling for Grammar:

I created a couple of Falling for Grammar packs that you can purchase in our TPT store.  I had the boys work on a few of these activities throughout this row.

Antonyms & Synonyms:

I created a Falling for Grammar Synonyms & Antonyms pack for Jordan to work on since this was one of his Sonlight Language Arts activities.


I printed the synonym & antonym leaves and presented them in a bin.


Jordan worked through the stack, sorting the synonyms and the antonyms.


Later in the week I cut the cards apart and had him glue the antonyms together.


Just for an added challenge, I revised the color by code worksheet (FREEbie in the Preview) and made Jordan write the antonym or synonym in the word boxes.

img_6972Parker sorted through the antonym and synonym leaves using the sorting mat.


Parker also color-coded his Antonym and Synonym worksheet.

Alphabet Review:

We try to find festive ways to review the letters of the week from Parker’s Sonlight Core A program.  Since we were reading books about leaves and Autumn, I printed the letters from our ABC Leaf Hunt pack and hid them in our lentil sensory bin with fall scatter.


Parker dug through the bin, found all the hidden letters, and we reviewed them.



We didn’t make Grandma’s cranberry bread, because we made it the last time we rowed this book and it wasn’t to our liking (sorry….just being honest).  Having said that, the boys and I made a few sweet treats that required measuring both liquid and dry ingredients.

Pumpkin Cobbler:


Jordan helped me measure the wet ingredients for a pumpkin cobbler we made right before Thanksgiving.  I needed to try out this recipe before serving it to our family on Thanksgiving Day.

Crockpot Cranberry Cake:

I knew we wouldn’t be making Grandma’s famous cranberry bread recipe, so I looked online for a quick alternative and found a cranberry dump cake recipe.


I gathered our ingredients and called Parker to the kitchen to be baker over this treat.

Parker helped measure and dump the ingredients into the crockpot.  We set it and waited until it was done.  The kids really enjoyed a treat their little brother made.

img_6819I used some of our apples from our Apple Tasting Tree along with fresh cranberries to make an apple cranberry cobbler.  It was tart, sweet, and SUPER yummy!


Chemical Reactions:


We read Mezclar%20/ Mixing (Heinemann Lee Y Aprende/Heinemann Read and Learn (Spanish)) (Spanish Edition)Mixing and talked about chemical reactions.  I set out trays with baking soda and various liquids.


The kids tried adding cranberry juice to see if anything happened….nothing happened.  Then we talked about how juice is made of mostly water.

Next, we cut open a fresh cranberry, but nothing happened.  We even crushed the cranberry and nothing happened.


Finally we heated a cup of cranberries, heated them in the microwave, crushed them and a chemical reaction occurred.  The berries started bubbling.

Then I gave the kids vinegar (an instant reaction) and they went to town on their trays.  They found the hidden dye at the bottom of their trays.

Cranberry Science:

Each thanksgiving we learn about the fruits and vegetables that we eat during the holiday season.  We’ve learned about cranberry bogs before, but this year we focused on the farming aspect of cranberries.

Layering the Bog:

This year I created a Cranberry Science – Growing Cranberries pack that teaches kids about the soil cranberries grow in.  You can purchase it at our TPT store.

Part of the pack includes a SNACKtivity where the kids build the layers of the bog.  I gathered our ingredients, set out a Growing Cranberries worksheet, a napkin, and a clear plastic cup.

The kids gathered in the kitchen, we read through the text on their worksheet, and they built their own snack bog.

While they munched on their snack they cut and pasted their Growing Cranberries worksheet.  I cut out the diagram and added it to their lapbooks.

Cranberry Farmers:

We read several books about farming and cranberries, but our favorite farm book while studying cranberries was Time%20for CranberriesTime for Cranberries.

I found a cute seasonal chores activity on the Exploring Cranberries site.  I printed a copy for each child and they watched the coordinating video on our Cranberry Thanksgiving youtube playlist.

After watching the video, the kids and I reviewed “Post-it chores” and placed them in the correct seasonal box.

Parts of the Cranberry:

I created a Cranberry Science – Cranberry Fruit pack that teaches the kids the parts of the cranberry fruit.  You can purchase it at our TPT store.

I printed a copy of the booklet for the boys to fill out while exploring their cranberries.

We got out The Berry Book and read the segment about cranberries.

I brought out some fresh cranberries, paper plates, and plastic knives.  We cut open our berries and explored these holiday gems.

The boys explored their berries, identified each part, and color-coded their lapbook inserts.

We added the booklet to their cranberry science page.

Pumpkin Science:


This was a REALLY fun harvest season, because the kids experienced planting and harvesting their own pumpkins.


The kids harvested pumpkin seeds last year during our pumpkin exploration.

In Spring, Parker planted them in his garden box.  We called it “Parker’s Pumpkin Patch”.

We watched our pumpkin vines grow all summer long. From blossom, to bud, to green pumpkin, and finally our orange sugar pumpkin.

He looked, he touched, and he picked his first sugar pumpkin!  We harvested four sugar pumpkins this year.

The kids measured, weighed, and estimated how many seeds their pumpkins would have inside.

We filled up the kitchen sink and let them do a sink or float test.

We cut them open and they identified the various parts, scooped out the cavity, and harvested seeds for next year (see ya in the spring)!

I roasted them in the oven, pureed them, and placed them in the freezer for a future baked treat!

Corn Science:

Since we read about Squanto teaching the pilgrims how to plant corn, I wanted to go over the parts of the corn with the kids.  I bought some corn with husks and printed the labels from our Parts of the Ear of Corn printable pack.

The kids removed the husks and silks.

They worked on using their labels to mark the various parts of the corn.

After science, our corn became part of dinner.  They dressed their ear of corn with butter.

They wrapped it in foil and placed it in the fridge.  We baked it with our chicken dinner….YUMMY!


Partial View:

We read two Autumn-themed books that inspired our partial view art project.

We read Red%20Leaf, Yellow LeafRed Leaf, Yellow Leaf and I felt inspired to do a nature craft.  We collected red and yellow leaves of various sizes.

We pressed the leaves between sheets of wax paper and set them aside.

Later in the week we read In%20NovemberIn November and noticed a page with a tree blocking the view and thought, “THIS is our partial view art project”.  I opened Cranberry Thanksgiving to the page with the door blocking part of Maggie’s face, we discussed how this was a partial view and how we were going to construct a partial view with our art project.

So I cut part of a tree (trunk and side branches) out of construction paper.  The kids glued their trees on the wax paper.

I brought out some metallic sharpie pens and the kids added some details to their trees.  They looked beautiful!

Balloons Over Broadway & Silhouettes:


Two years ago, the older kids really loved reading Balloons%20over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade (Bank Street College of Education Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (Awards))Balloons Over Broadway, so this year I wanted to include Parker in our Balloons Over Broadway activities.


After P.E., we gathered around the table and the kids started working on their packets.  The author has an activity kit with MANY activities (including the elephant hats), so I printed a packet for each child.

The kids colored hand puppets, answered questions, and watched several clips about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and Tony Sarg from our Cranberry Thanksgiving playlist.

img_7075While Parker napped, we read Rettie%20and the Ragamuffin Parade: A Thanksgiving Story (Tales of Young Americans)Rettie and the Ragamuffin Parade on our Epic app.  This was a wonderful story that paired nicely with our FIAR Thanksgiving theme and Haley’s Core D U.S. History lessons.

We moved into the classroom to work on the next part of our project, sketching on paper then constructing a puppet that would use in the Macy’s parade.  We used few props, because most of the puppets were simple, but colorful and creative….a less is more philosophy!


After lunch we were ready for the last activity of the day, creating our sillouette art inspired by one page in our Balloons Over Broadway book (Tony in front of a window overlooking the parade).


I drew a sketch page as a reference for this art project.  I explained that this would be the backdrop and we would glue their silhouettes in front.

They each took turns sketching their parade scene with inspiration from the reference page.


Haley chose to use two mediums.  First she colored part of the scene with colored pencils.

Then she added watercolors.  This turned out really colorful and beautiful.

Both boys chose to use dot paints, because there was quite a bit of landscape to color and we wanted the backdrop REALLY colorful.

img_7108Lastly, I glued on their silhouettes and they looked dazzling.  I hung them up in our classroom as soon as they were dry!

Thanksgiving Day Feast:

We ended this row with our special Thanksgiving Day dinner with our family.


I set the table for the kids and Parker made Thanksgiving day messages for everyone.


I made special Rice Krispy Treat turkeys for them to make after dinner.

They enjoyed turkey and all the fixings that their grandparents made with LOTS of love.  Then they created their treat turkeys for dessert.

We even had a few rounds of Thanksgiving BINGO….so blessed to have our family live so close!

The following day we enjoyed a beautiful family walk with all of God’s handiwork surrounding us…Autumn is God’s warm color palette on display!

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