2019.12.19319

The origin of Thanksgiving Day

If we just transfer the knowledge to the children in preschool, it is estimated that they will seem to understand it and forget it after school. However, if children are allowed to participate in experiencing the activities themselves, will there be any differences?

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What are the customs of Thanksgiving?

 

Who do you give thanks to at Thanksgiving in the beginning?

 

What does it mean to learn to be grateful for children?

 

If we just transfer the knowledge to the children in preschool, it is estimated that they will seem to understand it and forget it after school. However, if children are allowed to participate in experiencing the activities themselves, will there be any differences?

 

On the day before Thanksgiving, SIBS preschool teacher arranged a "challenging" task for the children: prepare a cooked egg at home and ask the children to "escort" the eggs to the preschool the next morning. What is the reason why children are asked to do that? The answer will be revealed at the end of this article.

 

Then, the teacher showed the children a short video about the origins of Thanksgiving: In 1620, a passenger ship called "Mayflower" with Puritans (new immigrants) sailing from Plymouth to the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. It was a cold winter, when too many people were hungry and cold, and died of illness. With the help of the native Indians, these new immigrants learned to hunt, grow corn and pumpkins and ushered in a bumper harvest in the coming year. On the occasion of celebrating the bumper harvest, the new immigrants from the continental Europeans invited the Indians to come and thank God (Indians) for their gifts. Since 1941, the United States has decided to set Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November each year.

 


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In order to reproduce the scene of European immigrants reaching the Americas at that time, the children acted as little actors. They received tasks, made props, and found ways to "build ships". They also performed the scenes of planting, fishing, hunting, and picking. The whole process was fascinating and incredibly joyful. When the teacher explained that the "Mayflower" ship arrived in the Americas when the European immigrants lived there, he also took out a globe for everyone to observe and explained the location of Europe and the Americas, which impressed the children. In the end, Patrick, the little child, also told everyone how the Titanic crashed into the iceberg!

 

Next, the "protecting eggs" mission was revealed! The children first painted cute smiley faces and beautiful clothes for the “egg babies”, and they used a yogurt box to bring them warm little beds, which were covered with soft cotton, for fear of injury. Even everyone took extra care of the "egg babies", but some unexpected situations happened. Many eggs were broken, and the "egg messengers" expressed their distress.

 

Through the task of "protecting eggs" and the study from Thanksgiving, children can understand the similar feeling of their family members and realize how hard it is for their family members to take care of themselves. The children acknowledged that their parents, elders, friends are grateful, and learned to thank and help everyone who has help themselves.

 

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In SIBS Preschool, we explore children's different potentials through such inquiry-based thematic teaching activities (IB PYP courses). We encourage children to reflect in their learning through experiential game activities; and lead children through thought-based interactive activities; thus, children are able to improve in all aspects. We also encourage children to express themselves, let them learn in exploration, and grow up in the process of solving problems themselves!