The Thanksgiving Door


Cover Art:

Parker created his cover art page. It was really colorful and fun.

Story Disk:

Parker colored the story disk.

He decided to place it on Russia.


Bible Verse:

My daughter created the lovely cover art for The Thanksgiving Door Bible Memory printable.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

Character Lessons:

I decided to bring out our Kids of Integrity Gratitude lesson guide.

You can download your FREE copy here.

We dusted off our scarecrow kick-off craft and remembered that he was there to help scare away a “satitude” and replace it with gratitude.


We started drinking “bitter water” while reading about the Israelites complaining in the desert.

After reading how God sweetened the water, we added our own sweetener which was a refreshing cup of lemonade to sip while working.

While discussing the grumbling Israelites, we read about a little girl who turned her “saditude” around in Thanksgiving for Emily Ann.

God our Provider:

We munched on cereal treats while we read about the grumbling Israelites. God provided water. Wouldn’t He provide food too? Yes, He sent sweet flakes of manna for his people.

Counting our Blessings:

In addition to our wonderful lessons on gratitude, I showed Parker the “Counting Blessings Instead of Sheep” clip from The Thanksgiving Door playlist. We actually watched White Christmas on our Thanksgiving break!

Thanksgiving Books:



We started our unit on Russia by reading Peter the Great.

I printed the All About Russia worksheet from The Thanksgiving Door Story Review. Parker filled it out while I read from our Journey to the Eastern Hemisphere book.

Since we were studying Russia and learning about the Tsars, I chose to read Anastasia the Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914. As a child, I was always intrigued by her story. The boys were too! They enjoyed this story immensely, because the journal format gave us a look at her silly, dramatic, sarcastic and witty sense of humor.

The end was darker in tone as her family was imprisoned. The author spares the grim final details in the journal, but the following “epilogue” reveals all. This book isn’t for all families, but it does shed light on the life of a Russian, royal family.

We read several books about Russia and learned some interesting facts about the culture, holidays, cuisine and history.

We read Molly’s Pilgrim, a wonderful story about a Russian family that immigrated to America for religious freedom.

We read several books about Russian and Eastern European culture.


Story Review:

I created The Thanksgiving Door Story Review.

You can purchase your copy here at our TPT Store.

After reading several day, Parker completed the Story Review questions from memory.


Grandmother said they cooked “a turkey as big as doghouse”. This quote initiated our discussion about similes.

We read about similes in our Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar.

I printed copies of our Fall Similes worksheets from The Thanksgiving Door Story Review.

Articles & Linking Verbs:

We read grandmother’s words and I challenged Parker to rewrite the sentence, filling in any missing words. He identified the articles as well as the missing linking verb.

Thanksgiving Build-a-Word:

Parker and I used the letter tiles to build big, bigger, and the biggest words we could think. This is always a fun process.



First, we read In November, a perfect picture book for this time of year.

I printed copies of our November calendar sheets. First we read our November poem in A Child’s Calendar.

Parker added the dates, birthdays, holidays and answered the questions about November.

Graphing Data:

First, we tallied the men, women, boys, girls, and pets in our family.

We used the FIAR worksheet to graph our family data.

Thanksgiving Crack-the Code:

Parker worked on one of the Thanksgiving Crack-the-Code worksheets.


Whenever we discuss patterns, it reminds me of our Kindergarten year reading Language snd Thinking for Young Children.

I thought it would be fun to make patterns in play-dough using our fall scatter.

I decided to whip up a batch of pumpkin pie play-dough after seeing someone post about it on the FIAR message board.

I set out some jars and pails so Parker could sort before making patterns.

First, we read Jane Brocket’s Clever Concepts Spotty, Stripy, Swirly What are Patterns?

Parker read Patterns on his Epic app. This book dove a little deeper into mathematical patterns.

After sorting our fall scatter, Parker and I reviewed various types of patterns. Afterwards, I created some difficult patterns and had Parker complete them.

I printed out a pattern activity from The Thanksgiving Door Story Review.



Brown Bears:

Parker had to research an animal for his creative writing assignment. He chose the Kamchatka brown bear from Russia.

Just for fun, we read about an old bear friend in Another Celebrated Dancing Bear.

Light & Shadows:

First, we read Oscar and the Moth, but it didn’t really discuss light and shadows. Parker found Follow It! Learn About Shadows on our Epic app.

I created a “Casting Shadows” page in Parker’s FIAR notebook.

We made shadow puppets and sketched the shadows based on the flashlight location.


Color Theory:

I thought it would be fun to do an edible color mixing activity. We did a similar lesson while rowing Papa Piccolo.

Parker was pretty sick, but the bagel color mixing was a fun distraction.

We read The Art Box which is a great introduction to art supplies, mediums, and the color wheel. We also read Color which was interesting, because we learned how printers mix colors using magenta, yellow and cyan.

I found this wonderful art resource, full of printable worksheets. I printed the color mixing

I brought out Parker’s watercolor set and we painted the worksheets. I love watercolors. I enjoy painting with watercolors; I find it’s therapeutic.

FIAR Tree:

I found a beautiful ornament idea on FIAR’s The Thanksgiving Door Pinterest board.

Parker and I glued, painted, and hung “The Thanksgiving Door” on our FIAR Christmas tree.

Pinterest Board:

You can find most of the activities, ideas, and printables from this post on our The Thanksgiving Door Pinterest board.

Youtube Playlist:

As with our other rows, we created The Thanksgiving Door playlist with read-alouds, music, science, and other clips.

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