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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
Your students will love this shadow matching November preschool activity and will come back to play with the cute turkey characters all month long. There’s always a lot to be thankful for in the preschool classroom in November. The whole month can be spent talking about Thanksgiving, its history and what your students are thankful for. You also get to be their first formal introduction to the Thanksgiving turkey and talk about their family’s traditions when it comes to the big meal.
The Skills In Shadow Matching
All the best Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers have multiple layers to them meaning that you as their teacher get to help them develop multiple skills from one simple activity. This shadow matching activity is no different. At first glance, students simply have to use their imagination and image recognition skills to match the turkey to the shadow it would make. They then have to indicate their choice with either a peg or a mark which will help with their fine motor skills. Finally, they’ll also develop their critical thinking skills when they have to justify their answer verbally to an adult or a peer.
Preparing To Use Turkey Shadow Matching
For this activity you will need:
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It’s easy to see from the extension activities below that you’ll need multiple copies of this shadow matching Thanksgiving turkey game. The set comes as one turkey with 3 shadows per page, but you may want to print 2 sets to a page if you’re making full sets for each student to use.
If you are using it as straightforward shadow matching clip cards, then you could print the images smaller, possibly 4 to a page. Laminate and cut them into individual cards and provide some wooden pegs or clothespins for your students to mark their answers.
Extension Preschool Thanksgiving Activities
As with any good Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers, this shadow matching Thanksgiving turkey game can be extended in a variety of different ways:
Add more shadows – an easy way to make this November preschool activity more challenging is to print extras of each card and provide students with a stack of 5 possible shadows for each Thanksgiving turkey instead of just 3. You could also turn it into a memory game for two players by creating a deck of all the turkeys and their matches. Players spread the cards face down and take it in turns to turn two cards over, trying to find the match of a turkey and its shadow.
Describe the turkeys – you aren’t limited to practicing visual skills just because the game is focused on shadow matching. You could easily set up a series of preschool Thanksgiving activities based on the turkeys themselves. For example, you could give each student a set of all the turkeys, and they take in turn to describe one for their partner to find. This will improve their attention to detail as well as building social skills.
Create turkey stories – the characters on these turkey shadow matching cards are wonderfully unique and your students will naturally ask why a turkey is dressed up as a doctor or a football player. Capture this imagination by having your students create stories about these turkey characters and even theme your dress up box so they can become the turkeys in their imaginative play.
This game is also available as digital Boom Cards which can be used with Seesaw, Google Classroom and other distance learning platforms. Grab these Internet task cards here.
More Thanksgiving Turkey Themed Centers
Like this? Then you’ll love my 10 Turkey Themed Literacy and Math Centers. These easy-prep games will get your students working on math, literacy and fine motor skills.
1) Turkey Ten Frame Matching – Number 1 to 10 included
2) Turkey Number Writing Mats – These mats come with handwriting lines and prewritten numbers that will teach the child how to do it correctly.
3) Turkey in Disguise Shadow Match – This game will help improve the child’s visual discrimination skills while also develop their fine motor movement when using the clips.
4) Turkey Counting Mats to 10 – Give the turkey the correct number of feathers either by drawing, playdough or using real feathers.
5) Turkey Arrange By Size – 6 different turkey characters included, each in 6 different sizes for the child to arrange.
6) Gobble Gobble Turkey Vowel – 40 different cards that you can laminate and have your students fill in the correct missing vowel.
7) Tommy Turkey’s Alphabet Pie – Pick up a letter card and find it on the provided alphabet mats. There are uppercase and lowercase versions included.
8) Turkey Alphabet Matching – Print out and cut the cards in half. Ask the child to match the upper to the lowercase letters. This is great in sensory tubs, as a hunt around the room or just on its own.
9) Turkey Rhyming Clip Cards – Kids will work on rhyming and fine motor at the same time with these 24 cards provided.
10) Turkey Sounds Game – Song poster and letter cards provided. Kids will choose a letter card and can practice saying the sound or you could ask them to name an object that begins with the letter.
Funs Books Perfect for Thanksgiving:
Other Printables That Work On Visual Skills:
1) Vehicle Shadow Matching Printable – Looking for some new vehicle worksheets? Help preschoolers develop visual discrimination with this fun vehicles shadow matching printable!
2) Halloween Shadow Match – Preschoolers need visual discrimination and matching skills in order to differentiate between the letters and numbers and to be able to classify objects. This Halloween shadow matching game develops these early literacy and math skills.
3) Emoji Shadow Match – This emoji shadow matching game develops an important early literacy and math skill called visual discrimination.
4) Santa Spot the Differences – This game of visual discrimination will keep your kids busy for a while! Find the 10 differences between these 2 pictures of Santa Land.
5) Emotions Odd One Out – Emotions-themed visual discrimination worksheet to find the odd one out in a group of faces.
6) Emotions Clipcards – Game of finding the matching facial expression and developing fine motor skills at the same time.
7) Autumn Apple I Spy – 3 differentiated levels of I Spy games perfect for an apple themed learning unit.
Educational Tools For Your Classroom:
Browse My Most Popular Math Printables:
1) Parking Cars Tracing Lines – More than 10 different tracing line patterns to choose from, all of which help with pencil control.
2) Scarecrow Arrange By Size – 3 different scarecrow-themed image sets that they will arrange from smallest to biggest.
3) Bumblebee Addition Game – Solve the sum and help the bee land on the correct flower!
4) Farm Shapes Mats – Use playdough, pompoms, stickers etc to learn 2D shapes.
5) Popsicle Stick Number Formation – Kids will love forming the numbers 1 to 10 when ice cream and popsicles are involved!
8) Counting Colorful Bugs – This printable book will help kids count to 10 while also learning about color words.
9) Humpty Dumpty Numbers – In this printable game, your students will practice number recognition using 1 dice or simple addition when using 2 dice.
10) Build A Number Santa – Match the number to the correct number word, tally mark and domino to form a Santa Claus
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