A Thanksgiving Draw-and-Tell Story Freebie

Thanksgiving Draw & Tell Freebie

Today I am going to tell you how I Turned my Thanksgiving Sound Effects Story into a Draw-and-Tell Story.  It was fun and easy, and the children LOVED it!  I am also giving you a free download of the Sound Effects Story and the little easy to draw Thanksgiving icons that I made up, just in case you would also like to try it!

Thanksgiving Guided Drawing Kids

Not long ago, I read a blog entry from “Teach Preschool”’s Deborah Stewart called Thanksgiving time story telling with symbols in preschool.  As I read about this idea, it occurred to me that it would be a great idea to combine it with my existing Sound Effects Story for Thanksgiving! (Click here to see the post with the Thanksgiving Sound Effects Story.  It’s free!)  So I tried it and it was a huge hit!  My students were totally enthralled, and just loved it!

Thanksgiving Picture Icons Pg 1

I have done other kinds of “Draw and Tell” stories before, and they have always been very well received, so this should have been no surprise.  However, I have never tried to combine the two ways to tell a story.  I have to say that the first method really just enhanced the other!


So basically, this is what I did:  when I told the story for the very first time, I told it sitting next to my white board easel.  I showed them the picture icons that I am including as a free download for you today, and I drew the pictures as I went along.  I also taught the children the sound effects as I drew.  So I as I drew the stick figure pilgrims, I told them about the pilgrims and then told them to say, “Hi, there!” each time they heard the word “pilgrims,” etc., which was one of the “sound effects” that the children were supposed to say whenever they heard that target word as I read the Thanksgiving story.

 I made one set of the pictures with titles, and the other without so that you could use them as you wish. As you can see, this picture shows the icons with the titles, but the icons shown in the other picture do not have them.

I made one set of the pictures with titles, and the other without so that you could use them as you wish. As you can see, this picture shows the icons with the titles, but the icons shown in the other picture do not have them.

I actually ran out of time to finish the story before the end of the day when I introduced it, but he kids were so interested in it that at dismissal time, they did not want me to stop to send them home!  That actually really surprised me.  But what surprised me even more was the fact that the next morning, they came in asking me to finish it, first thing in the morning!

That day I left the picture icons clipped to the white board easel with magnets, and at playtime I had at least eight children all clamoring to draw those pictures on that one small easel, so I got out a bunch of individual white boards for the children to use and let as many children draw as they wished.  They had a wonderful time, and they were all telling the story as well!   I just wish I had remembered to take a few pictures of them doing that.  Darn!

In any case, click here to download the file with the Thanksgiving picture icons!  I hope that you will enjoy using these in your Thanksgiving story telling.  🙂



This is a photo of the children’s Thanksgiving Guided Drawing pictures!  Click here for the free instructions for this adorable project, too!


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Heidi Butkus

About Heidi Butkus

Heidi Butkus has been teaching in California public schools since 1985. She has somehow managed to stay in Kindergarten all of those years, with the exception of five years in first grade, and also taught a parent participation preschool for a short while! Combining a strong knowledge of brain research with practical experience, Heidi has created a wealth of fun and engaging teaching techniques that work well with diverse populations. She has presented at conferences nationwide, and is the owner and founder of HeidiSongs.com. Heidi has also created fourteen original CD's and DVD's for teaching beginning reading and math skills, three musical plays designed especially for young performers, and has written some picture books and many other teaching resources. Heidi's multimedia workshops are filled with fun and motivational educational activities that have been classroom tested and revised for effectiveness with all types of learners.

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