Thanksgiving has become my holiday. This month will mark the fifth year my husband and I have hosted Thanksgiving in our home. While everyone who attends helps with the food preparation or clean-up, I’m the one who sets the menu. (In case you didn’t know, I LOVE to cook!) I spend months tweaking it so it’s just right. This year’s menu has been a challenge for me since Thanksgiving coincides with Chanukah, which won’t happen again in my lifetime.
Even though most of our Thanksgiving day is centered around food preparation (and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV), I love hosting Thanksgiving in my home because of meaning of this holiday. It’s about religious freedom and being grateful for what you have. On Thanksgiving we go around the table and, as corny as it sounds, each of us states what we’re thankful for. This year, I’m working with my daughter to create a poster about the people and things she’s thankful for in her life.
This year I’m planning to include a poem or blessing on each person’s place setting. The poems and blessings will come from Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving, a new book edited by Katherine Paterson and illustrated by Pamela Dalton. The book includes graces, poems, and praise songs from a variety of cultures and religions. As a result, there’s something for virtually everyone in the pages of this book.
Take a look inside:
If you’re looking for a pre-Thanksgiving writing project to do with your students, consider having them write their own poems or praise songs to share with their family and friends on Thanksgiving Day. You can provide your students with mentors from Giving Thanks, which will inspire them to craft beautiful pieces of writing that express gratitude.
A Cautionary Note for Public School Teachers: Many of the selections in this text deal with the Lord. Choose wisely when you present selections to your students so you uphold the separation of church and state.
I’m sure you have already gotten a sense for how beautiful the book is by looking at the cover and the interior pages you viewed above. Because I couldn’t resist, here is one more superb cut-paper illustrations that grace the pages of this book:
This giveaway is a copy of Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving. Many thanks to Chronicle Books for sponsoring this giveaway. To enter for a chance to win a copy of Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving each reader may leave a comment about writing about gratitude or how they’d use this book in the classroom in the comments section of this post. All comments left on or before Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EDT will be entered into a random drawing using a random number generator on Tuesday, November 19th. I will announce the winner’s name at the bottom of this post later that day. Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win. From there, my contact at Chronicle will ship the book out to you. (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field.)
Comments are now closed. Thank you to everyone who left a comment.
Heather’s name was drawn using a random number generator. She’ll receive the copy of Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving. Here’s what she said:
This year I placed a great emphasis on looking outside “myself” at this time for giving thanks. We used the idea of making a typical New Year resolution at Thanksgiving time. This past week we have been brainstorming all the things people places and experiences we are thankful for and we tie in resolutions (based on what is achievable from a fifth graders perspective ) on how we can share and preserve these moments. Much of our work in November is focused on a service learning project ( we are writing messages of hope for pediatric cancer patients in hospital ). I think the book may provide inspiration for these messages, hope to win!
I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).