The gentle bite of fall is here and the students at our small private school are chomping at the bit in their eagerness to celebrate Thanksgiving.
As hard as it is to accept, learning still must go on. In Reading we had been studying Phonics. One kid asked what to do “when one customer comes between two vowels” and I had to think a bit. This seemed a good time to learn more about consonants. I guess the holiday shopping season has already started at his house.
Most children are hearing their families talk about sports this time of year. Some guys were talking about football, but one said his dad liked basketball better. He said no one is as good as King Olajuwon. I hear his friends call him Hakeem.
Children listen to things their parents say to others. One girl heard her mom on the phone setting up a physical therapy appointment. The gal said her mom called the “Sickness Department” although her folks say it was the Fitness Department.
History can be a challenge for young students. One young scholar asked me about Thomas Jefferson. He wondered where the Decoration of Independence was hung, and was it a Christmas decoration? Time to have a lesson on ‘similar but different’ words. I think I’ll include declaration.
We decided to use the computer for that activity, typing the words then using them in a sentence in a class game. One kid reminded another to “push the snack bar” before typing the next word. I reached over and pushed the space bar just to be doing.
Fall was punctuated with a cold front. Children love the brisk air and the winter clothes. I was relieved that school was not in session when I was informed that him and his sister had “a juicy nose” during their time off.
The students had lots to report about their Happy Thanksgiving. It’s not always easy for children to understand the traditions people talk about this time of year.
One guy wondered why the choir sang “Tis a Gift to be Sinful” since he thought church taught you not to be sinful! For next week’s plans, I think we’ll learn the song Tis a Gift to be Simple.
The students were chatting at lunch time about things they did for fun over the holiday in addition to the feast. One little guy said he and his cousins had a ball while the adults were having coffee after dinner. His uncle gave them piggybank rides!
The children love to eat lunch on the Chocolate Porch. We could hear the winds of fall as it blew through the trees and rattled the leaves. Someone noticed the Chinese mallow tree was losing leaves as we were eating. A girl noticed the wind shine as it made a fine tinkling sound. Even a slight breeze made these chimes musical.
Some families had visitors from the Northeast and had heard hurricane stories at the dinner table. One boy was troubled by what he had heard. His aunt said her insurance guy told them that some of the storm damage was caused by “Ax of God”. This young man asked his friend, “Did you know God had an ax? I’ve gone to church for years, and no one ever told me that! I can’t wait to tell my Sunday School teacher.”
The next week we studied homonyms and I made sure to include acts and ax. We even talked about storms and insurance. Usually I would not discuss Acts of God at school, but it seemed to be needed this time.
We studied recipes in Science since the students were very aware of food during Thanksgiving. They wrote stories about their experiences and included instructions on how to cook food for their feast. I learned so much.
You need to cook potatoes till they’re sweet and turn orange. Green bean casserole looks cool when you add bunions! I was also advised to stick a snack in your mouth before the prayer so you can last that long. And you need to leave the turkey in the oven for days and days till the calendar says it’s time to eat.
Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving tastes as good as ours:-)
Copyright by Hildra Tague. Obtain author’s permission for use online or in print.