November is always a month with a lot of holidays. I know in my school we have Veteran’s Day, Parent Teacher Conference day, and of course Thanksgiving break. There is always so much to cover, and never enough time to plan everything. Sometimes, if we’re not careful the spirit of Thanksgiving can slip away.
Thanksgiving is a day that we all should celebrate our multitude of blessings. Gratitude is important for everyone, but for children in particular. It’s important that children learn to be appreciative, and to celebrate life. It’s important to set aside some time to allow children to celebrate the good things in their lives. We all have things to be grateful for – even when we don’t realize it. Each school year I always have a student who insists that they have nothing to be grateful for. I make it a point to sit down with them, and help them list the blessings in their lives.
Is having students list what they’re grateful for too preachy?
Not at all. It helps students focus on the positive, and let go of the negative. We tend to remember the negative more than we do the positive. I don’t know why we are wired that way as humans, but it’s what we do. We focus on that one thing in life that we don’t have – versus celebrating all of the other positive things in our lives. Practicing to remember all of the positive things in our lives makes us happier with who we are as individuals – and is a trait worth having.
How do I work it into my regular curriculum?
I created this First Thanksgiving Lesson and Pop Up book be part of your regular Social Studies curriculum. For more on how I teach my regular Language Arts curriculum, click here. This lesson teaches a brief history of the first European settlers and the Wampanoag tribe. The lesson talks about the struggles of both groups of people, and the way that they sat down together to celebrate their blessings. It helps students realize that everyone has positives and negatives in their lives, but it is important to take time to give thanks for the positives. The lesson also has a cute craft pop up book activity which my students love. The pop up book has a section for students to list what they are thankful for this year. I hope that your class enjoys this lesson as much as mine does.
Michelle – Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching