Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for. Adults do this, and children should too. We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with images of things to buy and things that we should be doing. We rarely are encouraged to simply sit down, and reflect on all that we have around us. Thanksgiving is our day to do this, and it is our job to teach this to our students as well.
Taking time to celebrate life is important for children. Children naturally observe the world around them, and it’s only natural to compare themselves with others. I’ve seen young children cry because they don’t feel their picture is as pretty as someone else’s. Comparing ourselves to others is natural, but not always healthy. I enjoy encouraging my students to truly think about their lives, and how much they truly have to be thankful for. No matter what, there is always a student who insists that they do not have anything to be thankful for. That is the student I work with the most on this assignment. I sit with them and begin naming all of the important things in life that they do have. By the end of the lesson, they’re usually smiling. Truthfully, the assignment helps me as well. It’s easy for me to forget all of my blessings as well.
Do Students Understand What They’re Thankful For?
Some understand it better than others. This of course is where we come in as teachers. It’s our job to help students understand what counting their blessings really means. Life becomes better when we focus on the good things in our life, and spend less time thinking about the things that may not be as we want them to. All humans want certain things, and the grass is always greener on the other side of the lake. We are the models for our students. If we stress the importance of being positive, then they will too.
How do I find time to teach this?
The First Thanksgiving Lesson and Pop Up book is a perfect Social Studies lesson, and a great companion for your Language Arts curriculum. If you are looking for some great Language Arts lessons, check out these Language Arts teaching tips. This free First Thanksgiving Lesson and Pop Up book teaches students about the Pilgrims, and the Wampanoag Native American tribe. The lesson shows how both groups struggled, but that they both took time out to be thankful. Students also create a beautiful Pop Up book which looks beautiful on bulletin boards. The lesson has many activities where students can write down what they are thankful for.
I am looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, and I wish all of you the same!
Michelle – Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching