Over the River and Through the Wood: Preschool Thanksgiving Lesson
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One week. Can you believe it? We have ONE week until Thanksgiving! Are you ready? Because I’m still getting ready. I still have to plan our Thanksgiving dinner menu and get our house spic and span for my family’s upcoming visit. There is SO. MUCH. TO. DO. But I am feeling confident that we will get everything ready in time.
So since Thanksgiving is next week, this week for preschool I am teaching my toddlers all about Thanksgiving. I recently checked out from the library Over the River and Through the Wood: A Thanksgiving Poem by Lydia Maria Child. It’s a classic poem which is also a famous song.
You may have heard the song with the famous opening lyric: “Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go.” Only the poem reads “grandfather’s house” and not “grandmother’s house”. Do you remember the poem/song going this way? I remember being taught to sing it as “grandmother’s house”.
Well, anyway, it’s no big deal. I just noted that one slight difference.
I taught the Thanksgiving lesson to Zhen and Zechariah today (11/14/16). I decided to make the poem a fun read by adding a turkey puppet to the lesson. This really held Zechariah’s attention (17 months old), and I was surprised he sat through the entire poem reading.
After I read the poem to the kids, I told them the poem is also a song. So I sang “Over the River and Through the Woods” to Zhen and Zechariah. They loved it! They started singing along with me, even though they didn’t know the words (LOL). I think the song made the story more interesting to them.
When we finished with the song, I put on a video of “Over the River and Through the Woods” which featured a compilation of pictures of horse carriage rides in the snow and other classic Fall festivities. Watching the song on YouTube really made the poem come to life for the kids.
After we read the story, sang the song, and watched the video, I had Zhen draw in her notebook her favorite parts about the story. She keeps a notebook for stories we read together for preschool. I ask her to draw her favorite thing about the story and then I date and label her drawing. It’s a great way to track her learning and it also makes for a precious keepsake.
Materials for lesson “Over the River and Through the Wood”
- “Over the River and Through the Wood” by Lydia Maria Child
- Turkey puppet or stuffed animal (a photograph of a turkey will also do)
- YouTube video of “Over the River and Through the Woods”
Lesson Plan for “Over the River and Through the Wood”
- Introduce the story to your child.
- Read the story together. Use the puppet as you read for fun interaction with your child.
- After you read the story, go back over the story by singing the song.
- When you finish singing the song, ask your child what he/she liked about the story. You can have him/her draw a picture(s) about his/her favorite part(s).
- Play the YouTube song “Over the River and Through the Woods”.
*Note: Let this lesson be your guide. Create the lesson to fit your child’s learning needs and interest level. Have fun and be silly!