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November 15, 2011 Well Balanced Thanksgiving Activities By Megan Power
Grades PreK–K

    Thanksgiving is fast approaching. As you plan your last few days of Thanksgiving instruction, come take a look at some of my posts from the last two years. They include a primary grade book list, a family interview activity, suggestions for your class Thanksgiving feast, instructions for making a beautiful candle centerpiece, and thoughts on not just teaching Thanksgiving as an event of the past.





    Using Favorite Books to Teach About Thanksgiving

    After the excitement of Halloween bats and skeletons comes to an end, we are greeted with a peaceful holiday full of food, family, and fun. With this atmosphere in mind, I share some of my favorite Thanksgiving books that I use in my classroom.




    Understanding Gratefulness: Clearing Up Misconceptions of Long Ago and Today

    Tragically, many teachers discuss Thanksgiving events and information only in terms of the past. We need to teach our students that Native Americans are still around today and that there are people in our world who live much as the Pilgrims did, either by choice or because of poverty. With the help of modern technology, students can instantly connect to the world and experience this firsthand. Come see how my students realized how much they have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.





    A Hearty Thanksgiving Feast and Candle Centerpiece

    Would you like to plan a Thanksgiving feast for your students and their parents? Are you feeling as though you can't because of your district's food policy? Well, you still can!

    A few years ago my district changed its policy on food at school. Now we are only allowed to have store-bought food instead of food prepared in students' homes. Because of allergies and other safety concerns, many districts are adopting similar policies. It makes planning celebrations like Thanksgiving feasts more challenging, but it's still possible. Take a look at how we celebrated Thanksgiving at school while observing this new policy, and make a fun bean candle centerpiece to take home in time for the holiday.



    Thanksgiving Assignment: Family Interviews

    History is . . .  
    The story of people.
    The story of their struggles.
    The story of their triumphs.
    The story of their defeats.
    It’s the story of their lives.
    History = His Story
    Come read about my personal family interview and encourage your students to use this holiday to learn about their families.



    Project Give



    My colleague and friend Danielle Mahoney wrote a post about an amazing project her students do every year. The post includes an open invitation to students and teachers everywhere:

    Want to get involved with a special project this Thanksgiving? Help me as I deliver food to homebound seniors in New York City on Thanksgiving Day. Being a part of this special event is easy. Inspire your students to create handmade cards and write special messages that will lift spirits and spread joy throughout New York City.

    Please make sure to read this post and send homemade cards to her in New York.


    Thanksgiving Videos has added some informative videos to their wonderful Thanksgiving unit. Be sure to watch the video tour of Plimoth Plantation and the tour of the Wampanoag Homesite. These videos give students a glimpse into what life was like in colonial America and teach a lot of information in the process. These are two videos not to be omitted from your Thanksgiving instruction.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!



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Susan Cheyney