In this challenge, students further their understanding of the contribution that traditions and celebrations make to their sense of identity and belonging. Introduce the lesson by reading aloud a story about Thanksgiving Day celebrations (e.g., Franklin 's Thanksgiving, Going to the Fair, Thanksgiving Day in Canada, or A Pioneer Thanksgiving). Discuss references to the traditions of Thanksgiving and ask students to categorize them according to foods (harvest, preserving, baking, cooking), crafts, activities and company. Invite students to share any Thanksgiving traditions they might follow. Compare these with past traditions, including the early origins with Aboriginal people and other harvest festival traditions (e.g., Chinese Moon Festival).
Discuss what, if anything, the school does to give thanks. Invite students to brainstorm ideas for a new celebration to give thanks within their school community. Using the ideas generated, help students to develop criteria for an effective "thanksgiving" celebration (e.g., include everyone, make people in the school feel thanked, be doable). As a class or working with a partner, ask students to consider the suggestions in light of the criteria. You may wish to adapt one of the charts and strategies in Justifying My Choice (Support Material) to structure this activity. Guide students to agreement on a new celebration and develop a plan for its implementation.