In November, our pre-school groups engage in pretend play with pilgrim hats, stuffed turkeys, and fabric leaves. We discuss all the things that we are thankful for and practice saying please and thank you
Our Blue Butterflies social group works on November vocabularies such as turkey, feathers, pilgrims, and basic manners (thank you, please, you’re welcome, excuse me). Our Red Butterflies social group works on asking friends questions. We ask questions and answer questions such as what do you like to have for Thanksgiving dinner, where do you go for Thanksgiving, and what’s your favorite dessert for Thanksgiving dinner?
We bring out our old friend the Thankful Turkey! This turkey helps us answer the question “What are you thankful for?” Each friend picks a feather (colored clothespins) and reads the category (family, toy, game, friend, teacher, etc.) written on the feather. The friend has to pick something that he/she is thankful for from that category and then ask a friend.
Movement and Game Play~ We love to have a turkey hunt! Kids have to find small stuffed turkeys that we have scattered around the room. You can find stuffed turkeys at craft stores or online. These turkeys are also great for pretend imaginative play and we often get the kids to work together to count them to find them or to pretend to be them in our spontaneous play segments of the group.
Structured Task Time~ includes helping our turkeys find their feathers. Our Social Butterflies Club® Social Skills Program lesson plans for November include 4 different activities for November. These can be used with the Blue Butterflies and Red Butterflies groups. The “Turkey Task” requires Blue Butterflies will simply add requested feathers to the turkey. There are feathers included in the November Lesson Plans or you can purchase some at the craft store. The Red Butterflies can follow multi-step directions by coloring the turkey as directed. Fine motor skills are addressed by cutting out the template and adding feathers to the turkey. Both groups work together to create the turkeys by sharing and helping each other add feathers to the turkeys.
For our older kids, November is a time that we address manners in our social communication groups. We call it “Manners Matter” month. Our older social communication groups talk about “manners” by brainstorming what the kiddos think manners are before actually discussing them. We get some pretty creative answers! Manners tie into World Kindness Day (November 13th) perfectly! We have a KINDNESS CHALLENGE all month long. The kids have to find ways to be kind to others and report back all the kind deeds they have done each group. It is pretty amazing to see the kids compete to be kind!
Of course in our social groups, we review our DOs & DON’Ts for Thanksgiving. This free resource for Kaleidoscope Club members has pictures of various Thanksgiving settings. The children are prompted to answer questions whether the people are doing what’s expected or unexpected and if they think it’s a DO or a DON’T. This will easily connect to Social Mapping by Michelle Garcia Winner at Social Thinking® if you are using that in your social skills groups (which I highly recommend!)
As always I hope you find this information helpful for your social skills groups. I am thankful for all the kiddos that I am able to work with and this amazing job that God has blessed me with! I am also thankful for all of you who continue to support our program and give us great feedback!
I hope you all have a wonderful healthy and happy Thanksgiving with your family.