Take students beyond the decorations and ask them to identify what a holiday reveals about a culture’s values. Then, push them further as they develop their own holidays.
Let’s remix a famous Christmas poem, give it a Thanksgiving theme, and teach our students advanced poetry concepts at the same time
Let’s write a persuasive essay about one holiday from the point of view of another holiday’s “mascot.” For example, what would the Easter Bunny think about Christmas, how would Santa feel about Valentine’s Day, and what would a Turkey have to say about St. Patrick’s Day?
This year, I changed one requirement. Students had to compose a haiku as the body of their card. This gave me a chance to introduce a type of poetry that I like to use throughout the year, while still maintaining the purpose of expressing unexpected thankfulness to someone.
Teaching students about the first Thanksgiving feast is standard fare in the primary grades, yet there is a gold mine of fascinating information about the origin of Thanksgiving’s date. It’s a bizarre history that will intrigue your students and could lead down some interesting avenues!