We Give Thanks - Thanksgiving Pilgrim Bulletin Board Idea

Thanksgiving Pilgrims Bulletin Board Idea
Photo Source: hummingbirded.com | Peggy Drake

This pilgrim-themed window display featured at Hummingbird Educational Resources not only reminds students of the origins of the holiday, but helps them remember what Thanksgiving is all about! While this holiday decoration was designed and hand-drawn by the talented Peggy Drake, with a little help from your students, you can recreate this festive display for your own classroom!

Pilgrim Crafts

Drake opted to draw the pilgrims for her window display, but you could also get your students involved through a classroom craft. Here are a few ideas:

  • Paper Plate Pilgrims. Provide students with a small paper plate and multicultural craft paint. Invite them to paint the entire plate to match their skin tone and, when dry, add hair. Next, have students use a black marker to draw a face on their pilgrim. Setting aside their pilgrim heads, have students:
    1. Cut the outside (wavy) band from a large paper plate, encouraging them to cut it off in one full piece.diagram showing how to cut the paper plate
    2. Using their point of entry, have students cut the band in half, take one of the pieces cutting it in half a second time (creating a quarter piece), then take one of those pieces and cut it in half a third time (creating an eighth).diagram showing how to cut the paper plate
    3. Students should end up with three band sizes:
      • 1/2 of the band
      • 1/4 of the band
      • 1/8 of the band
      diagram showing various paper plate pieces
    4. All students will create a shirt collar by painting a "C" piece black and attaching it to an unpainted "B" piece when dry. The shirt collar should be glued to the bottom of the pilgrim head.diagram showing how to make a pilgrim collar
    5. Students creating girl pilgrims will design a bonnet by attaching an unpainted "B" piece to an unpainted "A" piece, gluing it at the top of the pilgrim head. diagram showing how to create a pilgrim bonnet
    6. Students creating boy pilgrims will use black, white, and yellow construction paper to create pilgrim hats.
  • All students will then use brown and black construction paper to create pilgrim clothing.
  • Construction Paper Pilgrims. Provide students with pilgrim templates like the ones found at Craftideas (click here for the boy template and here for the girl template) and construction paper in the specified colors. Invite your students to trace and cut out their very own pilgrim.

We Give Thanks Bulletin Board

  • Background: Yellow bulletin board paper (or any other fall shade!).
  • Title: "We Give Thanks!" - Drake scripted the title directly onto the background paper, but you can certainly use traditional trace and cut lettering as well.
  • Border: Drake opted for a borderless display, but you might consider using a Thanksgiving-themed border or a solid bulletin board trimmer in a complimentary color.
  • Decoration:
    1. The Pilgrims. Use your students' pilgrim crafts.
    2. The Thanksgiving Feast. Draw a simple table shape - including the tabletop and legs - on light brown Kraft paper. Use a brown marker to create wood grain detailing on the pieces. Freehand food items for the Thanksgiving feast (e.g. turkey, corn, pumpkin pie, potatoes, etc.) onto appropriately colored construction paper or bulletin board paper. It might also work to find a black and white clip-art print online or through your word processing software that can be used to print the food shapes directly onto colored card stock to be cut out.
  • The Dialogue Clouds. Created from white bulletin construction paper, design dialogue clouds and pen in the things your students are thankful for.

We'd love to hear your pilgrim project ideas and what you think of the bulletin board idea, so be sure to leave us a comment below!