The Importance of Being Thankful- Ideas for the Classroom

Thanksgiving can be a tricky topic in school to learn about and celebrate, especially when we want to be respectful of those who may not celebrate the holiday.

At its very core, Thanksgiving is about being thankful, which is always a great topic and value to teach to all ages of children in schools. You don’t have to explicitly celebrate Thanksgiving in your classroom to celebrate and learn about being thankful.

We can start off by having a simple conversation about being thankful and what it means to us. We can talk about the different things we can be thankful for from everyday necessities like water, food, and shelter, to the bigger things like our gaming systems at home, bikes, etc. There are also things to be thankful for like friends, family, and teachers.

Ways we can incorporate thankfulness in the classroom-

A thankful tree art project- an empty tree trunk that eventually is filled with leaves that are written with what the students are thankful for.

A thankful turkey art project- similar to the thankful tree, but a more “Thanksgiving” approach if you’re wanting to head that way.

Write thank-you notes to teachers, janitors, administration, cafeteria workers, and more.

Take a few minutes of class each day to have the students tell everyone what they are thankful for.

Create thankful journals in class and write in them when possible.

Have students write what they are thankful for on a strip of paper and draw a few each day to read to the class.

Let the students highlight each other when they see the kindness their peers are showing.

When we are looking at the good, positive aspects of our lives, the good only gets better. That’s why promoting and talking about being thankful in our classrooms is only a net positive for everyone. It’s eye-opening for everyone to see what others value and are thankful for in their lives, and can remind us more about what we are thankful for in our lives.

Do you talk about being thankful with your students? What does this look like in your classroom?

The Season for Giving Thanks and Reading Books

Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, so do you know what that means? Thanksgiving picture books! There is no better way to celebrate a holiday than with picture books in the classroom, I am a huge advocate for picture books at any age. Here are four books you need to keep on your radar this holiday season. 

A Turkey For Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting A fun story about woodland animals that get together to eat Thanksgiving dinner together, just to realize that their friend, Turkey, is missing! 

Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf This book is based on a true story of a New York family who celebrates Thanksgiving in the woods with family. Not only is it a great book, but the pictures are also beautiful as well. 

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano A story that will have your students laughing out loud seeing Thanksgiving from the perspective of the turkey. 

If You Were At The First Thanksgiving by Anne Kamma This isn’t a picture book per se. However, it is a great book to keep around the classroom for the month of November. It answers common questions and some misconceptions you or your students may have about the first Thanksgiving. 

What fun books are you reading in your classrooms this Thanksgiving? 

Featured Image: deathtothestockphoto.com