THankful for THis Time of Year


Thanksgiving Phonogram 

Raising Robust Readers Thumbprint Turkey

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to learn the phonogram ‘th’.  The Raising Robust Readers program has a specific sequence for teaching phonograms wherein children find success early on.  However, we believe that going out of sequence when a phonogram has importance and relevance to children is important and educationally sound, as well!

Meaningful phonogram may be found…

  • in their name, a family member’s name, or even a pet’s name
  • in the month shown on a calendar
  • In a particular interest that your child has
  • in a holiday that is approaching, etc.

As Thanksgiving approaches, there is ample opportunity for introducing your child to the ‘th' phonogram.  Again, we are here to guide you!

  • First, introduce the jingle and hand gestures:

Th is found in three of those. /th/ and /tz/ is how it goes.

When you say the word “three,” hold up three fingers.  As you say the word “those,” use your pointer finger to point in front of you.

  • Next, help your child understand and FEEL the difference of the two sounds.  It can be hard to differentiate the two sounds of ‘th.’  Say the words “three” and “those” slowly, paying close attention to the sound of ‘th' and how it feels on your tongue.  I explain this to children the following way:

When you say “three,” your tongue is placed between the top and bottom teeth; but you can still push out air, creating a softer, airy sound.  When you say “those,” your tongue is also placed between the top and bottom teeth, but the air does not get pushed out the front.  This creates a vibration on your tongue which results in a harder /tz/ sound.  After this explanation, children may refer to the sounds as the “airy” sound or the “vibrating” sound of ‘th.’  They are also referred to as the soft and hard ‘th’ sounds.

For more information about the steps to introducing a new phonogram, refer to our previous blog here.

Now, give these adorable thumbprint turkeys a try!

Raising Robust Readers Thanksgiving Thumbprint Turkey

These thumbprint turkeys can be made with either ink pads or acrylic paints and a small piece of card stock paper.  Have your child use his or her thumbprint to create a colorful turkey.  Keep in mind that these thumbprints are a layered process and should begin with the widespread feathers in the back.

1.  Create a yellow row of thumbprints that are fanned out to create the back row of feathers.

2.  If you are using paints, I suggest waiting a few minutes for the thumbprints to dry before doing the next row of orange feathers.

3.  Make one more row of red feathers when the orange row is dry.

4.  Add one more brown thumbprint in the center for the turkey’s body.

5.  Finally, add feet, eyes and a beak with a fine point Sharpie.  Wiggly eyes can also be glued on to finish your turkey!

For younger children, you may want to simplify this process.

1. Start with one brown thumbprint for the turkey's body.

2. Add one row of feathers in different colors.

3. Add the final details with a Sharpie and wiggly eyes.

In keeping with the ‘th' jingle, here are three different uses for these thumbprint turkeys:

Th Thanksgiving Card
  • Create personalized place cards for your Thanksgiving guests by adding their names to the cards. It is a great addition to any Thanksgiving table.
  • Create your own thank you cards to send to relatives. Any family member would love to receive these personalized thumbprint cards.
  • Create a keepsake for Mom or Dad. Place your thumbprint turkey in a small frame or create a framed border by gluing the white card stock in the center of a slightly larger piece of colored card stock.

Don't forget the search for the ‘th' phonogram on the go, wherever you go! Visit the library where lots of Thanksgiving books are featured.

Can you find the following words?

  • Thanksgiving
  • Give Thanks
  • Thankful

We have also created a ‘th' bingo game.  This is a great resource to keep the children busy while you prepare the big Thanksgiving feast.  You can find a copy of the bingo cards here.

We are thankful to be able to share these activities with you!  Thank you for being a part of the Raising Robust Readers family!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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