The Most Thankful Activity for Your Students After Thanksgiving

Happy post-Thanksgiving ambiguity to you dear teacher! I realize Thanksgiving hasn’t quite happened yet, but your Thanksgiving planning has come to an end. So here’s the big question: with one more week left in November, what do you do with your time? Here’s a cumulative activity that will last your students into December!

The Plan

Start with having students reflect on what they are thankful for. Have them write in their journals 3-5 sentences on what they are thankful for. You can also have them do a graphic organizer, collage, the sky’s the limit.

We did a cornucopia activity where the students drew items they were thankful for and wrapped them up in a cornucopia.

After they’ve completed their thankful assignments, remind them that there are others who don’t have everything they have. It is for this reason that many people give back around this time of year.

Put your students in groups and have them come up with a way to benefit others. Where possible, facilitate research for them to find information independently.

The Goal

Have each group set a goal for their project. Do they want to do a drive and collect a certain number of something? Maybe their goal is to make one person at a nursing home smile. Have each student create a goal board/poster/card that he or she can keep at his or her desk. This is a great reminder of what each team is working towards. If your teams want to set multiple goals, awesome! Let them.

The Work

Encourage your teams to make a To-Do list and a Supply list. From here they will map out their to-do list on a calendar. Have teams delegate a leader, secretary, supply manager, and liaison. Any extra team members will be floaters, helping where needed. The secretary will need to have good typing/writing skills to write tasks on the calendar and copy the lists. The supply manager will be in charge of getting everything that’s needed on the list. The liaison should be a people person. He or she will be the one writing letters/making calls to anyone the team needs help from(ie: coordinators at charities, nursing homes, etc.)

The Assessment

Have your students keep journals with their experiences. They will need to create a budget(even if it’s imaginary). Have them estimate expenses based on research, then get actual numbers from real people. If students are asking for donations instead of money, have them calculate advertising costs. You will act as the bank and give them a “loan.” If you can find money in the budget to actually work through these scenarios, even better!

What if I Have Little Ones?

I totally get it. Journals? Lists? Calendars? My students are still learning how to match the date. Try it anyway. They may surprise you. The best way to simplify this for young ones is to do a project as a whole class. You walk them through it, supporting where you need to. Still, see what they can do on their own. Worst case scenario, it’s a mess and you have to backtrack a little.

Do you have questions? Ideas of your own? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to comment below.

Have a great turkey day!