Students will see beyond the kids table as they research the significance of Thanksgiving.
- Chart paper and tape
- Books that introduce the concept of community workers (see resources below)
- Construction and drawing paper
- Markers, crayons, and colored pencils
- Language and literacy
- Creative thinking
- Social development
Take photographs of various community workers who contribute to your school or center, including the custodian, cook, bus driver, receptionist, security guard, librarian, garbage collector, and postal worker. Inform workers that your class will be learning about these jobs. You can also schedule time for each worker to visit the classroom to share information and answer questions about their jobs.
Step 1: Read a book on community workers to introduce the concept. Discuss how each particular worker helps the school. Show the class the photographs of the different community workers from their school. Help them identify each worker and his or her title. Tape each picture to a separate sheet of chart paper and write the person’s name and title at the top.
Step 2: Discuss how this time of year is a time for giving thanks and gifts. Ask children to think about why it is important to thank the workers. Explain that in the next few days the class will discuss each worker’s job and make special thank-you books.
Step 3: During group time, talk about each worker’s job and how he or she contributes to the community. Record children’s comments on chart paper below the worker’s picture and title. Invite small groups into the art area to make drawings and write a few words of thanks to the specific worker.
Step 4: Make a book cover with the worker’s photograph and name to bind with the drawings. Plan time for the class to present their thank-you book to each worker. Save photocopies of each book for the class library.
Remember: If you feel that your class is not able to focus on a different worker each day, divide the class into groups. Have each group focus on a specific community worker.
Curriculum Connection: Literacy
Show the group a few examples of purchased thank-you cards and talk about why it is nice to send a thank-you card after receiving a gift. Set up the art area with drawing and collage materials so they can design their own, homemade thank-you cards.
Sending Out Thanks
Send the thank-you cards and a note home explaining the purpose of the cards. Encourage families to have their children write or dictate words of thanks when they receive gifts or special acts of kindness.