Though the American holiday of Thanksgiving has a much more complicated origin story than many of us were taught as children, that doesn’t mean there aren’t meaningful lessons to be had for children of all ages. If you are wondering how to teach your Montessori preschool or elementary school kiddo about Thanksgiving in a way that uses the Montessori method at home, there are several great activities you can do together or as a family. Read on to learn some simple, engaging projects you can do for this Thanksgiving holiday.
If you aren’t sure how best to tell the story of Thanksgiving, the good news is that there are many great children’s book authors who have taken on that task. You can set aside time after dinner to enjoy a good read-aloud session, and if your child is able to read, they can take the lead or take a turn. This is also a great opportunity to practice reading comprehension by asking questions as you read about the content of the book and what your child thinks about it. After the huge meal, reading can be the perfect activity for helping you digest all that turkey and relax.
Thanksgiving is, after all, a holiday that is all about gratitude. Practicing gratitude is an important component of every Montessori elementary school curriculum, so these projects will be a natural extension of what your child practices in the classroom every day. If you get a head start, you and your child can work on a Gratitude Paper Chain starting at the beginning of the month. For this craft, you will just need strips of paper, markers, and glue or tape. Each day leading up to Thanksgiving your child can write something they are grateful for on the paper strip and add a new link to the chain. On Thanksgiving Day, you can read through the full chain and enjoy sharing all you are thankful for. And if your whole family participates, you can even use the festive chains to decorate your home for the holiday.
Cook a holiday dish
Since this is a holiday that is centered around a big, tasty feast, there are a lot of ways to learn about Thanksgiving through food. Together, you can learn about your own family food traditions and those that are synonymous with Thanksgiving, like turkey and pumpkin pie. When you prepare a holiday dish, your child can also learn about where the ingredients come from and how they get from farms to your table. Or another way to include your child in preparing the feast is to have them help you prepare the menu. There are so many practical life skills tucked into making food for the holiday that it will be hard to miss one of these opportunities.
Hill Point Montessori in West Hills, California offers 3 programs – Primary for Ages 3-6; Lower Elementary for Ages 6-9; and Upper Elementary for Ages 9-12. Montessori education groups students according to their abilities, unlike traditional education where students are grouped by age. This allows students to work together and collaborate throughout their learning journey as they guide each other.