Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are certainly ready. Here are some activities we did this week to help teach Gess what Thanksgiving is all about.
We checked out two books from the library, the same two as last year as I thought they were both very good. The first book, "The First Thanksgiving" by Jean C. George which was about just that, the first Thanksgiving. It was very detailed and beautifully illustrated. It is long so it took us a few days to finish it.
The second book was shorter and Gess was able to help us read it. It was called "Thanksgiving Day" by Gail Gibbons and is also about the first Thanksgiving but then it shares how people actually celebrate the holiday today. I liked that because it helped my daughter to identify the story of Thanksgiving with the events and activities that she partakes in on that day.
Since Gess is a very visual and hands on learner, sometimes just reading and looking at pictures are not enough for her to grasp the concept, so we watched some Thanksgiving videos as well. The History Channel has some videos and other information about Thanksgiving, but I didn't see the video that we had especially liked in the past. However, it has a good one that explains how we came to celebrating this holiday every year on the last Thursday of the month. You can find their resources here: The History of Thanksgiving
The other video we watched was from BrainPOP. It is an awesome educational site, but it does cost money. However, they usually feature many of their items for free and each holiday you can usually see their video related to it without having to pay. We watched the one on Columbus Day last month and this month we watched the video about Thanksgiving. When the video is over you can take a quiz which can be graded or is just for fun. Gess and I watched the video and took the quiz together to see how much of it she retained.
We have a few sites that we use for crafts. This year we used Enchanted Learning. It is another site that is only partially free but so far I haven't found anything that I needed that had to be purchased. The fee, though, is only like $20 for the whole year, so the price is very reasonable. It may be something I use when Gess gets older and has more worksheets. Anyway, they have great craft ideas and this year we made a "Thankful Turkey." To download the template does cost, but I just figured that part out. We focused on Psalm 118:1 "Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good" and placed that verse on the turkey. In each feather Gess listed something she was thankful for. Her first one was "games." Well, she is a kid! The other feathers were prayer, God, mom and dad. Here is our finished project.
There are several other good sites with craft ideas. Someone recently shared a great blog about crafts with me called Art Projects for Kids. Its the blog of an elementary school art teacher who shares her activities. It is also a great resource!
Well, that is how we studied this holiday. Let us not forget that this day is a time to give thanks. There is so much to be thankful for and as I close I will share just a few of the things that I am especially grateful for this year.
I am thankful for:
My salvation. Even though I am a sinner Christ still chose to die for me and give me eternal life. Nothing is more precious to me.
Our freedom. What a joy to live in a nation where I am free to live and believe as I choose. Freedom is something we take too much for granted. I pray that people realize that freedom is more valuable than any commodity the government can provide for us.
My husband. I am thankful for a man who loves me and is always there for us each and every day. My life would be much emptier without his love and support.
My boys. My boys who are grown are taking on more responsibility each day and it blesses my heart to be a part of their lives. I am especially grateful that they still love talking to and spending time with mom!
My daughter. Her very existence is a blessing to me, but having her healthy and so eager and able to learn continues to amaze me. I am thankful that she is doing so well.
My mother. Having lost my father last holiday season I am grateful that my mother now lives close and is able to share those days with us.
My siblings. We have not always been close but over the last few years we have been reconnecting. I pray that we will continue to do so.
My new house. I am thankful to live in a larger house. I feel so blessed to have been able to move into it and truly love it!
Our riches. According the world, I would not be considered rich by any means but in reality every American actually is. Yesterday we were at McDonald's, a food we often get tired of. I thought, how blessed we are that we have so much to eat that we have the luxury of being tired of food!! How blessed that we have cable TV, two cars and two computers. So many people consider these things as necessities, but they certainly are not! I am grateful that we are able to have so much when others around the world have so little.