Turkey Time Traditions {with Core Inspiration by Laura Santos}

Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to get a little sentimental in the classroom. By November, community is strong and students are feeling more comfortable sharing their feelings and personal stories.

My favorite November classroom tradition was born from the simple idea that we should thank the people we love for the little things they do everyday to help us live happy lives. Each year this project evolves a little and becomes more meaningful to my students. Your heart will be genuinely warmed when you read the thoughtful ideas shared with classmates and loved ones as a result of a little tradition I call Letters of Thanks.

This writing project begins with a discussion about the difference between being thankful for physical object versus being thankful for feelings and experiences.

Once students have a clear understanding of this difference, you can introduce different categories to guide a brainstorm about giving thanks for feelings and experiences. This brainstorm session will boost the flow of the letter writing process in the next step.
After your class brainstorm session, hang the brainstorm posters in a central location and encourage students to visit the posters as needed when they write their letters of thanks.

Taking the time to introduce the meaning behind the project and building a strong collection of ideas through brainstorming makes the letter writing itself a breeze. A peaceful focus blankets the room as students write voraciously about the moments and feelings they are grateful for. It is always a teacher’s gift when their young writers are busy jotting away and we can peek over each and every shoulder to read the thoughts that are near and dear to our students’ hearts.
After each letter is signed with love, it’s time to add a touch of cuteness to this Thanksgiving gift. An adorable turkey card is the perfect packaging for your students to deliver their letter in.
This project is sure to be a parent favorite and a keepsake for the scrapbook. It is also the perfect way to take a break from assessments, report cards, and conferences that consume so much of the daily schedule this time of year.

You can download the stationary template for Letters ofThanks as a freebie here. If you are interested in my full activity lesson plan along with instructions for the adorable turkey card craftivity, download Lettersof Thanks – A Thanksgiving Writing Project and Craftivity here.

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