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Cranberry Thanksgiving Activities (plus how to make a silhouette picture!)

Cranberry Thanksgiving Activities (plus how to make a silhouette picture!)

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We are just now returning to our Five in a Row (FIAR) books for the current school year, and I didn’t ever post about this book from last year.


My plan is much different than actually completely a book a week; instead we usually row two books a month.  If you’re new to FIAR, rowing a book means reading multiple times, and then doing matching activities to deepen understanding for all subjects.

FIAR is a fabulous literature-based curriculum, and while we use it as a supplement, my boys (now ages 4 and 7.5) love, love our FIAR time.  Honestly, it’s memory-making and learning all mixed into one!

Check out my Five in a Row resource page for plenty of helps.

A FIAR favorite – Cranberry Thanksgiving

About a year ago, we read Cranberry Thanksgiving, a delightful book about a grandmother and granddaughter, and their Thanksgiving dinner guests.

So naturally, we needed to learn more about cranberries themselves.  We watched a few YouTube videos, this one is helpful, and talked about how cranberries float in water.

All because of those little air pockets inside!  This led to a few sink and float activities as well.

Then we pretended to harvest cranberries by first flooding the ‘bog’…

And then gathering the floating berries…

Of course, having all these cranberries called for some cooking in the kitchen!

The book offers a recipe, but we changed it up some to fit our own preferences.

My youngest son looks rather Jewish with his scarf!  Not sure what was up that day… 🙂  Remember how he loved wearing a tie everyday?  I guess it was time for scarves.

Anyway, here’s the recipe we used:

Grandmother’s Cranberry Bread (modified)
Recipe Type: bread
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 3/4 – 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 – 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  1. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl.
  2. Cut in butter until mix is crumbly.
  3. Add egg and orange juice and mix until dough is moist.
  4. Fold in chopped cranberries.
  5. Spoon into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for an hour.
  6. Check for doneness by inserting knife or toothpick in the middle – if it’s clean, it’s done!
  7. Remove from the loaf pan and cool on a wire rack.
For geography, I talked with my (then) first grader about the New England states, where most North American cranberries are grown and harvested.
He colored a map and labeled each state with abbreviations:

You can find plenty of free printables for Cranberry Thanksgiving at Homeschool Share.

The final project was one my 7 year old completed, inspired by a page within the book.  I’ll show you the final product, and then offer step-by-step instructions for what we did:

Making a Silhouette Picture

We decided to pattern the colors after the fireside scene in the story.  To make a picture similar to ours you’ll need:

  • camera, photo paper, printer
  • sharp scissors
  • chalk pastels
  • glue stick or mod podge
  • heavy paper (sketch pad, card stock or other)

Step 5:  While the paint dried on the picture cutout (we did another layer of paint after it dried), my little guy used his chalks to make a background similar to the book.

Step 6:  When this was done, he used glue to attach photo to the page — a beautiful art project!

As you can see, the paint is still drying some on his silhouette above.


Overall, a wonderful memory-making row!  Don’t forget to take a peek at my Five in a Row resource page for helps.


{post linked to Collage Friday, Weekly Wrap-Up, Teaching Mama}


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  • NicoleNovember 14, 2013 - 7:17 am

    Love this! We are rowing this in a week and I can’t wait. Love this time of year!ReplyCancel

  • MaryNovember 15, 2013 - 8:04 am

    This was our favorite Cranberry book by far! I love the silhouette project!! We will be doing that soon – easy and effective!ReplyCancel

  • jenNovember 15, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    What a fun post! I’m going to put that book on our library list!!ReplyCancel

  • danieatdomesticNovember 15, 2013 - 2:55 pm

    Thanks everyone!ReplyCancel

  • Leah CourtneyNovember 15, 2013 - 11:33 pm

    This is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it when I was young and have read it to my kids quite a bit. We used a little bit of FIAR as a supplement, but I don’t think we covered this one.ReplyCancel

  • JennNovember 16, 2013 - 8:43 am

    I am so glad I found this post at Collage Friday! I used FIAR when my girls were younger and this is exactly what I’m looking for as we add three preschoolers to our homeschool mix! I am feeling inspired and headed to check out the resources you mentioned:) Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • DawnNovember 16, 2013 - 9:42 pm

    We LOVE FIAR. That is one of our favorite books. You all had fun.
    Blessings, DawnReplyCancel

  • […] How about an interactive technology-rich silhouette picture-creating activity? Daniele, at the Domestic Serenity blog has the perfect silhouette picture creating idea! […]ReplyCancel

  • JenNovember 18, 2015 - 12:58 pm

    Love these ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. My kiddos are going to love flooding the cranberry bog (doubles as washing the berries) fabulous!
    The silhouette art is really wonderful. I was trying to think of a way to do it — thanks for coming up with such a great idea. Blessings 🙂ReplyCancel

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Daniele Evans