Well aware that kids often go from “what am I going to be for Halloween and how much candy will I get?” to “what will I get for Christmas,” Aloma Elementary School’s Healthy School Team (HST) hosted a “What are you thankful for?” celebration the week before Thanksgiving.
To make sure students put proper focus on the Thanksgiving holiday and what it means when it comes to gratitude, the HST planned a variety of activities. Here are a few:
- In PE, students took a few minutes to fill out “Give me 5 things you are thankful for” turkey handprints. They wrote one thing in each digit and then colored them. The teachers used these to decorate their doors.
- Kathy Styron, HST Leader, posted 20 “What are you thankful for?” signs throughout the school. Each time they spotted a sign, students were challenged to stop and think of something they were thankful for, and they could not repeat items they wrote on the turkey hands in P.E. All students were winners. Their prize–realizing how many good things they have in their lives.
- Ms. Styron also videotaped many of the staff members saying the things they are most thankful for, and the media specialist (and HST member) used them to make several videos that ran during announcements.
- The school made the Thursday Thanksgiving dinner the in cafeteria a special feast. “We put paper tablecloths down, placed Thanksgiving napkins at each place, had turkey centerpieces (thanks to the art teacher who also is an HST member), and had classical music playing,” said Ms. Styron.
“The response from the students and staff made it clear this was a big success,” said Ms. Styron. “You should have seen the looks on the kids’ faces when they came into the cafeteria. One said ‘I feel like I’m in a castle!’ I had lots of kids tell me how many of the 20 signs they saw, and it made them feel good to think about the many good things they had in their lives.”