Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Where Has Thanksgiving Gone?

Dear America,

What have you done with Thanksgiving?  Where has it gone?

It is not merely the “season opener” for Christmas-time.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Christmas is a truly wonderful and meaningful holiday.  I cannot downplay the significance of our savior and God humbling himself to come down to earth and become human, to come to us as a helpless baby born in a stable.  In the spirit of what Christ gave to us, Christmas is a season of giving.  However, as a result of being a season of giving, it is also a season of receiving.  And it seems receiving is the aspect of the season that gets focused on way too much.  All the commercialism you push, America, takes advantage of that.  And it’s in that commercialism that we are losing Thanksgiving.  Children especially can get caught up in all the gimmie-gimmie-gimmie of the Christmas season.  What are we teaching them if we don’t stop and say “thank you” for all the numerous blessings God gives us everyday?

Christmas is important, and we need to teach children (and ourselves sometimes, too) the true meaning and spirit of Christmas.  A good way to start is by celebrating Thanksgiving in its own right.  Not just as an oppurtunity to get together, eat a lot of food, start our Santa lists, and get excited that Christmas is coming, but as a time to give thanks to God for all He has done.  To take a break from all the “I wants” and instead say “Thank you for what I have.”  After all, America, this is your holiday.  Own up to it.  It’s a beautiful thing.

So please don’t put up your Christmas decorations after Halloween.  Take time for Thanksgiving; it’s worth it.

Thank you America.

With Love,

Me

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Giving Thanks for Literacy: A Thanksgiving Reading and Writing Activity

Turkey Tracks Word Hunt

We love to do “hunt around the room” activities with the kids.  It’s a great way to get the children excited about writing, reading and learning.  Whenever we do a hunt like this as a free choice activity, a majority of the students usually choose to do it, often multiple times!  In fact, when we did this turkey word hunt, we ran out of papers (even though we printed one for each student) and had to run and print off some more.

Turkey with Sight Word.

For this particular activity, we used the simple sight words the children have been learning from our word wall.  We chose to use the sight words because the children are just starting to become familiar with them and are getting excited about them!  Of course, you could use anything you would like with a hunt- letters, shapes, whatever your children are learning about.

The way we did this hunt was we hid numbered turkeys with the sight words in different places around the room (this cute turkey-with-a-pencil clip art thanks to DJ Inkers) .  Then we had papers numbered 1-10 attached to clipboards (we love clipboards) at the writing table.  All the children had to do was grab a clipboard and a marker, find the sight words and write them on the paper!

This is a great way to encourage the students to write, especially the boys who often don’t like to sit down at the table to do a writing activity.  It sparks the children’s sense of adventure as they love searching around the room.  We also often see teamwork in action as friends help each other find the words!

As a further encouragement, I offered the students a sticker if they found and wrote words, and another if they could read some of them to me!  This encouraged not only copying of the words, but recognition of them as well.

One boy's completed paper. When he was done, he immediately did another one!