The other student teachers and I took this opportunity to teach about Thanksgiving. Together we taught the history and traditions within the lessons we created. The principal allowed us to travel around to each grade to teach about the American holiday utilizing different visual aids, examples and explanations. We made a couple different powerpoint presentations appropriate for each grade level. For example, the students in the lower grade levels were provided with a presentation that only contained pictures and the upper grade levels were exposed to pictures as well as a significant amount of text. The fourth, fifth and sixth grade students had more background knowledge of the Thanksgiving holiday. In return the students had many questions that were unanswered regarding the holiday and American traditions. The students were very appreciative of the time we spent teaching them about the holiday and the projects we taught them to make as apart of our lessons.
I also created two small art projects that allowed students to show their creativity. The day before Thanksgiving I gave the second class students a small Thanksgiving booklet that described the events leading up to the holiday. I used the small booklet as a reference as I described the history of the Thanksgiving holiday. After the lesson, the students had the opportunity to color the booklet. My cooperating teacher created a bulletin board so that I could display the booklets in the hallway.
On Thanksgiving Day I described the things people would use to decorate with for the holiday. I explained that dried corn is used as outdoor decorations and Fall center pieces for a table. The students created a corn mosaic by coloring the stalk of the corn and then tearing pieces of construction paper to glue on the corn. This project was also displayed on the bulletin board, along with their Thanksgiving booklets.
This was an amazing opportunity to share the American culture just as the students have shared their Irish culture with me while attending the Galescoil school. The students have expressed how much fun they had creating these Thanksgiving projects and learning about the American holiday. I have never felt so welcome and thankful for the generosity they expressed while celebrating Thanksgiving.