I hope you’ve had an amazing week! Seeing as Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend, I thought it would be good to share a few Thanksgiving activity ideas that you can use with your students. Enjoy, and please feel free let me know which other activities you like to use in the classroom during this time of year. I would love to read about them!
- Gratitude Mandelas: There is a photo of these linked in the article/post below, but essentially, students write “I am grateful for…” in the centre of a larger piece of paper, and write the things that they are grateful for around the outside. These almost look like sun rays or the branches of a mind map (side note: a mind map would be a great alternative to this idea!), and they look beautiful once completed. I also love this Art/Writing activity because 1. It combines multiple areas of the curriculum, 2. It has amazing potential to help students to develop a growth mindset, and 3. It can be adapted to suit multiple grade levels, although I would most likely use this with Grades 4 and up. https://magicalchildhood.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/10-ways-to-make-today-magical-134/
- The History of Thanksgiving: This one is a Social Studies classic, and there are so many ways to make it engaging for students! Start an inquiry-based mini unit, and try asking the class what they would like to learn about Thanksgiving. Have them compare past Thanksgiving traditions and customs with those that they practice at home. You could also tie in Music, Art, Drama (Thanksgiving skits!), and Writing. I also love the idea of creating a class book about the holiday as a final product of their research. This idea can be modified to meet the academic needs of any grade, because the level of complexity can be easily adjusted as needed.
- Traditions: On a similar note, I think it would be really fun to ask the students about how they celebrate Thanksgiving, and all of the traditions that are involved in the festivities. This would make a great circle discussion, writing prompt, or even an art activity, and it can again be used in just about any grade.
- The Gratitude Game: This is something I recently found on Pinterest, and it would be great for any grade as well! Essentially, the teacher places coloured objects of his or her choice (e.g., straws, popsicle sticks, cards, stones, etc.) into a bag or box, and the students take turns choosing one. They must then tell the class something they are grateful for, based upon the colour that they select. Red: Name a PERSON you are grateful for, Yellow/Orange: Name a PLACE you are grateful for, Green: Name a FOOD you are grateful for, Blue: Name a THING you are grateful for, Purple: Name ANYTHING of your choice that you are grateful for.