Week 12—Thanksgiving and the letter L


This week our Sensory and Fine Motor groups had a Thanksgiving theme while the theme for our Language Group was the letter L.

Sensory Group—Thanksgiving

We started our session by reading Cara’s book “On Thanksgiving Day” using the voice output device to say the repetitive line.

Our first discovery box was filled with all sorts of Thanksgiving themed objects such as  leaves, felt pilgrim faces, a scarecrow, big and little turkeys, soft orange and yellow yarn, hard gourds AND a plastic turkey leg 🙂

Math access points were addressed when discussing big and little turkeys as well as counting them.

Science access points were addressed comparing the hard gourds with the soft yarn.

Its amazing how much you can fit into one little box!

Our students really enjoyed searching through the box

to find their favorite things. Others got more creative and started dropping leaves on their teachers head  as she was bending down to pick something up 🙂



Our harvest mix of beans (reminding us of soup that might be made with Thanksgiving leftovers) contained  turkeys and T’s. We were able to work on matching colors in addition to counting.

Finding the letters and turkeys among the beans also addresses visual and tactile discrimination.

The beans were a huge hit in one of our middle school classrooms and as 3 students gathered around the box, one young man made sure to note “look we are sharing”.  How sweet!






Our feather boas became soft turkey feathers………..so much fun          to touch and drape around necks. For some of our students the soft feel of the feathers was especially enchanting.

We were also able to work on some visual tracking by picking up the boas and moving them around.









We picked up this soft pompom yarn in fall colors from Michaels. It reminded us of a soft warm blanket you might use while watching football games on Thanksgiving day.

It was fun to squish while talking about the properties of materials, a science access point.

Our students also enjoyed being draped with the yarn or working on their fine motor skills by pulling the strands up.







The pumpkin pie scented play dough had a wonderfully yummy aroma, 

absolutely delicious but our students resisted the temptation

to sample it 🙂

Hand strengthening was addressed when squeezing the play dough and using our turkey and leaf  cookie cutters.








We practiced writing the letter T in sweet potato pie puree, messy but fun!

The texture was a little challenging for our students with tactile issues but most of them at least got a finger in.









And rinsed our hands in Cinnamon Pumpkin (from Bath and Body works) scented water and finished with the lotion to bring Thanksgiving memories for the rest of the day.

Between the pumpkin pie playdough,  scented water and lotion, it was quite the aromatic delight for lovers of all things pumpkin!









Fine Motor Group—Thanksgiving

On Tuesday we read Cara’s Thanksgiving book. Our students especially loved the pages with food and loved pointing to their favorites. After our story we made a little turkey that Jeannie designed.

First, we colored a an index card brown. As we passed out the index cards we counted them and discussed their shape, addressing math access points.

The index card was then set aside for a moment (after 2 holes were punched in the middle).

Next, we took a pipe cleaner (pre assembled by Jeannie”s

staff using a small pompom, tiny googlie eyes, a small piece

of pipe cleaner, and a small piece of craft foam) and began

stringing folded (with a pre punched hole in the middle

near the fold) cupcake liners.

Our students had so much fun picking out and counting

the colorful liners.





A quick twist of the pipe cleaner secures everything in place. Then the pipe cleaner is threaded through the holes in the index card to give it a base to sit on. A very cute turkey–sorry, no picture of it finished 😦










On Thursday after reading “On Thanksgiving Day” again, we made pumpkin pies!

First we counted out 4 strips of orange paper for each student. We also counted the brown paper plates as we passed them out.











Our students tore the paper strips into small pieces, dropping

them into their bowl. Tearing the paper addresses bilateral

coordination and is a good pre-scissor skill building activity.









Our students worked on hand strengthening by squeezing glue onto the plate.

Then they practiced their pincer grasps by picking up pieces of torn paper and placing them on the glue.








We presented 3 spices (nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin pie) and let our students smell them. After smelling each one they chose their favorite by either pointing or smiling and then got to shake it all over their plates.

Thanks to Laurie B. for this idea. Also the choice of 3 items correlates to our alternate assessment.





With the addition of a dollop of cotton ball “whipped cream” a delicious smelling, low calorie pumpkin pie——YUM!!!!










Language Group—-letter L

We shone a Light to show which puzzle pieces to Lift up. We especially Liked the Lunar moth, Ladybug and Lightning bug!

Holding the wand over the puzzle helps build shoulder stability. Picking up the puzzle pieces addresses following directions and eye hand coordination.

We also counted the puzzle pieces, working on math access points.








Next we Laughed while a squeezing a Little Lion and shaking a Large Lion.

Squeezing this finger fidget works on strengthening pincer grasp.









We hot glued a shower curtain ring to the Large Lion to make it easier for our students with physically challenges to grasp.








Next each student was given a precut Lion face (drawn by Joy) and a paper plate.

We counted them as they were passed out and discussed the circular shape of the plate.

Then our students were asked to make a choice of 3 markers to use when coloring both the lion’s face and paper plate.

Our students have different ways of communicating their choices, these include pointing, vocalizing, facial expression, or eye gazing.







For students with physical challenges, Joy attached markers to a switch toy with velcro. This allows our students to independently color along with their classmates.

Putting the toy in a box lid helps keep the toy contained.

As usual, everyone wanted to use the switch to color also their pictures—and of course we Let them 🙂






After we finished coloring, we glued the pieces together to make a very Lovely Lion!

We finished as usual, by playing Cara’s listening game.











Lots of Laugh’s as usual!










Look at just some of  the Lots and Lots of L words found today.

Its sometimes hard to collect all of them for our pictures, as our students really Like to examine them 🙂

What an awesome week! We hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and we will see you afterwards for more fun and learning Group by Group!

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