Lesson plan

Sort the Thanksgiving Dinner

Looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner is as American as the apple pie students may sort in this lesson! From red cranberry sauce to orange sweet potatoes, your child will have a blast sorting and categorizing foods.
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Students will be able to classify and sort food items into distinct groups.

(10 minutes)
  • Call students together and read Turkey Trouble.
  • Ask students to think about all the different types of food they eat for their Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Create a list on the board for everyone to see.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students what it would taste like if all of these foods were mixed together. (Chances are it wouldn’t be as yummy!)
  • Show students a large tub of mixed up play food and explain that while that may be what happens to food in our stomach, that’s not how we usually eat our food. We usually sort our food and divide it up on our plate.
  • One way that we divide food is by the type of food it is. Ask students to think of different types of food. (Students may say dairy, desserts, breads, etc.)
  • Circle foods they already listed on the board that might fall into these different groups.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide students into small groups and give each group a variety of foods to sort. Allow each group to decide how they would like to sort their food.
  • Come back together and have each group share how they divided their food. Repeat if necessary.
  • Pass out the Draw Your Thanksgiving Dinner worksheet to each student.
  • Show students how to draw lines to divide the plate into fourths.
  • Tell students they can either draw or cut out foods in magazines to complete their plates. Instruct students to put the red foods in one square, the green foods in one square, the brown foods in one square, and the orange foods in the last square. Demonstrate by finding and pasting a food of each colour in the right section on a worksheet.
  • Ask if students have any questions and remind them of any rules that apply for independent work times.
(10 minutes)
  • While students are working, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and observing student work.
  • Quiet music playing in the background can set an appropriate working environment. (It can certainly help to keep the talking noise down!)
  • If students finish quickly, encourage them to look for words in the magazine to label the food on their plate.

Support:Consider cutting out food pictures in advance. Working with partners can also help to scaffold this activity.

Enrichment:For students who need a greater challenge, instead of finding pictures of food in magazines, have these students find written food words. Then they can paste these on the worksheet and illustrate them.

(5 minutes)
  • Ask students, “Why is that item going there?” “Is there a different type of group we could make?”
  • Observe students’ food groupings to determine if they understand how to group items into distinct categories.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students together. Ask students to share what they drew on their plate. How did they sort and categorize their foods?
  • Once students are done sharing, hang up their worksheets as a sorting reminder.
  • Challenge students to sort the play food one last time by colour.
  • Close by encouraging students to sort the food during their next free choice period.

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