Thanksgiving Community Building Activity
For the last three years I have done this Thanksgiving-based
activity and it is often one of the most valuable school-wide
community-building activities I do all year.
I tell the
students that we are on an "Appreciation Mission" or a "Mission
ask them to identify a list of all the low-profile people
that they are thankful for throughout the school.
(By "low-profile" I mean not me, not their principal,
not their last teacher, not a cluster or specialist teacher,
not our student teacher-Often the low profile people end
up being the cafeteria staff, the bus-driver, the school
secretary, the security guard, the supply monitor, or
the crossing guard.)
I make a chart of these people and allow the children
to sign up for whomever they feel the most thankful for.
(Once they have written one thank you letter to a low
profile person, the children are allowed to write their
second letter to anyone they want.)
Every child writes a thank you letter that they
decorate and frame to their special someone.
We post these Thanksgiving messages throughout
the school, the cards are then either all posted together
in a prominent place for the entire school community to
read or they are posted where the "thankee" is most likely
to read them.
are recognizing the members of our community who are often
for a real and meaningful purpose.
A very powerful sense of audience impact (recipients
almost always find their children for a hug and often
have admitted to shedding tears over how touching a gesture
side benefit of this activity is that I now have a list
of adults that I can turn to if a child is upset, needy
or misbehaving. They have already established a
special connection with my student.
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