3D pen art: Paper turkey and leaf design featured in blog.

Low-Prep Classroom Activities for Thanksgiving

We know that teaching your classes before the holiday break can be a challenge. You are ready for a break, and so are your students. It can be difficult for everyone to focus, no matter how enticing the project at hand may be.

As Edutopia and We Are Teachers have written, teachers will often opt to show a movie before the winter break since it can create a sense of fun and mental adventure. However, watching a movie has two shortcomings – collaboration with peers and hands-on engagement.

We have put together a few simple Thanksgiving-themed projects that will create a sense of camaraderie and accomplishment amongst your students. You can even decorate the classroom with the finished Doodles after they are complete, or send them home with students.

What better way for students to leave for Thanksgiving than with a sense of connection with peers and creative accomplishment? Let’s celebrate the upcoming break with some social-emotional learning and festive creativity.

The 5 Competencies of SEL According to CASEL
  • Self-awareness: Know your strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”

  • Self-management: Effectively manage stress, control impulses, and motivate yourself to set and achieve goals.

  • Social awareness: Understand the perspectives of others and empathize with them, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

  • Relationship skills: Communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

  • Responsible decision-making: Make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety, and social norms.

Thanksgiving Projects for your Classroom

To get started, split your students into pairs and hand out 3Doodler pens, filaments, and stencils (linked below). Then have the students take turns with the 3D pens to create a collaborative project using one or more of the stencils. Working in pairs helps students learn to cooperate, and it also builds community in your classroom. Feel free to give them and their partner the freedom to select the project(s) of their choice.

Teacher Tip: Did you know that you can laminate our stencils so they can be used over and over again? Feel free to print the stencils and laminate them before class. Laminated sheets will work with both the 3Doodler Start pens and the 3Doodler Create+ pens.

Colorful leaves on white surface - 3D pen art

Autumn Leaves

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Time: 10-15 minutes per leaf
  • Strands: 2-4 for Create, 2-4 for Start

View Project

3D pine cone on table, stunningly created with a 3D pen.

Perfect Pinecones

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Time: 20-40 minutes per pinecone
  • Strands: 4-6 for Create, 5-7 for Start

View Project

3D pen art: Turkey standing in leaf pile

Thanksgiving Turkey

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Time: 30-50 minutes
  • Strands: 10-15 for Create, 10-15 for Start

View Project

3D pen art: Man with bird on his nose.

Encourage innovation

  • Have the pairs make their own Thanksgiving-themed Doodles!
  • Teacher Tip: Did you know that you can use repurposed materials to make your 3Doodler filaments last longer? Have students bring in cardboard, egg cartons, toothpicks and more to use in their projects.

    Other teachers want to see your festive classroom Doodles, and hear all about your pre-Thanksgiving classroom happenings! Share them on social media.

    Tag Us: @3Doodler, #3Doodler, #3DoodlerEDU

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Close-up: 3D pen art cake with sticks design

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