Thanksgiving: Teaching Kindness and Being Grateful

Thanksgiving: Teaching Kindness and Being Grateful

Nov 15, '22

November is well on its way and the members of the classroom have begun to hit their stride as the school year continues to progress. This newsletter we will talk about how to incorporate the theme of North America and kindness just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

North America

November is the perfect time to study the continent of North America. Begin the lesson by showing the children in the classroom where North America is located on the continent puzzle map upon the globe. Explain how the earth can not only be split into land and water, but continents as well. Simple songs about the continents can be sung to help children remember the names of the seven continents.

Once the children have a firm grasp on the names of the continents, it is time to focus deeper on our home continent, North America. The teacher can bring out the North American Puzzle Map to show how the continent is divided into smaller pieces called countries. Throughout the continent of North America, there are a multitude of different cultures and languages that make the people within each country unique to their home.

In addition to understanding the geography of North America, the children will enjoy learning about the different types of animals that call North America home. These animals are found all over the continent from the northernmost point to the southernmost point. The North American Animals Set comes with wooden three part cards that add an additional layer of education as the children practice matching the names, pictures and animal figurines to one another.  The wooden cards are not only beautiful but will last through years of classroom use. During the study of North America, teachers should read a multitude of books that speak about the continent as a whole as well as paint a picture of the type of culture that exists in North America.

An extension of the study of North America would be diving into the United States of America.  Children will enjoy learning not only about their home state, but the states that make up the entire country. Puzzle lovers will enjoy completing the American flag puzzle as well. There are so many options for learning more about the place we call home. 

The most important thing is to ensure that the children in your school are exposed to a large variety of examples of what makes North America its own unique continent.

Teaching kindness and being Grateful

As the holiday of Thanksgiving approaches, it is a great time to continue the classroom’s study of peace, kindness and grace and courtesy.  Throughout the year, children work on their abilities to communicate in kind and respectful ways with the other children in the classroom. Now is a good time to teach reflection and gratitude.

Begin the lesson at a circle or during morning meeting with the teacher explaining the things they are grateful for. It can be anything from being with family to a sunny day. Through this modeling, the children will begin to think about their own ideas of things they are grateful for. Be sure to remind the children that they can be thankful for anything big or small in their daily lives.

Once the children are used to practicing expressing things they are grateful for, incorporate the thankful leaves work. This work can be displayed at school on a gratitude tree or sent home with children for their holiday celebrations. The children will all have the chance to decorate a fall leaf before writing what they are thankful for or grateful for. If the child cannot yet write, the teacher can help them write on the leaf.

Get your own leaf templates in the worksheet here. These leaf shapes can be used for a variety of fall activities.

Thank you for reading this week’s newsletter. At Montessori N’ Such, we want to hear from you. Feel free to reach out at any time with questions and comments. If there is something in particular you would like to see from Montessori N’ Such, let us know at

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