Every Thanksgiving I like to share the legend of the five kernels of corn with my students. If you are not familiar with this story, a quick Google search can fill you in with the details. The short version is that during the harsh winter of 1621 the Pilgrims suffered many hardships. When their food was rationed out to everyone oftentimes each person only got 5 kernels of corn to eat. Even after things got better for the Pilgrims they would continue to place 5 kernels of corn on their plates as a reminder of the hardships they endured.
I wanted to create a craft that would not only relate the story to my students’ lives but also serve as a reminder of the story. For years my preschoolers had made simple Thanksgiving wreaths from paper plates so I had the idea to combine that craft with the 5 kernels of corn legend. This is the craft I created.
tissue paper cut into squares (preferably Thanksgiving colors)
glue (I used watered down glue and paintbrushes)
crayons or markers
Have students decorate the border (ridged area) of a paper plate with tissue paper squares. If you are learning about patterns you can require them to glue the squares on in a particular pattern or you can just let them glue on the tissue squares however they wish. Then have the students count out 5 pieces of candy corn to represent the five kernels of corn from the legend and glue them on their plate (they can eat any extras!). Lastly, have them write something for which they are thankful by each corn kernel and draw pictures of each.
You can also choose to have students write the words only.
I also send the story to parents along with the idea of placing 5 pieces of candy corn next to each person’s place setting at their Thanksgiving table. Each person can pick up each piece of corn and name something for which they are thankful. I always get a great response! I hope your students and their families enjoy this activity as much as mine. Happy Thanksgiving!