Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thanksgiving Celebration in the Classroom

It’s hard to believe that it’s November, and Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. It's time for our Thanksgiving I Teach K-2 blogger link up. We're sharing ideas, resources, and freebies, along with a GIVEAWAY that you'll want to enter.

I thought I'd share what our first grade team does for our Thanksgiving celebration each year. It’s not an original idea. One of our teachers told us about it. It’s how her own child’s teacher celebrated the holiday in her classroom. We used the idea and have changed and adapted it over the years to highlight and appreciate the diversity and uniqueness of our students’ families. It's one of our favorite activities we do during the year.

We have a special program called, “CELEBRATION OF FAMILY.” This event includes poems and songs performed by the students and a museum featuring special items brought in by students. Families (including moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) are invited to attend.

The Celebration of Family museum includes a collection of items that are special to the family of each student. These items do not have to be antiques and could be everyday objects brought out for family “rituals.” Some examples include the popcorn bowl the family dives into when watching movies together, a favorite plate used for celebrations, or maybe it’s a momento from the last trip to visit extended family. Other ideas are a family collection or an item handed down from a grandparent that's important to the family. The children might also photograph something and display the pictures. It’s an item that symbolizes something interesting or special about each family.

The parents discuss the importance of the object with his/her child, how long it has been in the family, and any other important information. The students share this information with parents as they tour the museum.

The day of our celebration, the students wear Turkey hats.

Student speakers welcome the parents.

The children begin by chanting a poem about the first Thanksgiving. They sing and dance to songs and poems.The families are then excused to go outside for refreshments.

The children quickly go back into the room and get their placemats, placards, and artifacts ready on their desks.

I print the information that each child brings to class. This is an example of the placard that sits in front of each child's desk. The students share this information with parents as they tour the museum. Parents ask the students questions about their objects. It becomes an hour of storytelling.

The last speaker invites the families to come back into the room to tour the “museum.”

It’s heart-warming to see and listen to the children proudly talk to the parents about their family traditions. The parents thoroughly enjoy asking question of the students as they tour our museum. Each year parents comment that they love getting to meet and talk with their children's classmates. What I love most is getting to know more about my students' families. I always find out new things about my students thru the activity.

The graphics on the speaker cards are by Krista Wallden. Check out her graphics at Creative Clips here.

Grab these after Thanksgiving freebies and then enter below for our giveaway!

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