“Giving thanks giving thanks
for rain and rainbows
sun and sunsets
cats and catbirds
larks and larkspur…”
by Eve Merriam
Thanksgiving is a natural time to pause and reflect on the blessings in our lives, and poetry tea time lends itself beautifully to celebrating our thankfulness. Just a quick search on amazon for “Thanksgiving poems” yields 2,822 results! Why is that? Because thankfulness is something we can all get behind. I’ve never met anyone who wouldn’t agree that we should be grateful for what we have, and that fostering a sense of gratitude in our children is an important part of raising them. The poetic nature of gratitude, the sometimes elusive emotion that can not always be translated into words finds a home in poetry where phrases and metaphor abound. So here’s a recipe for Thanksgiving poetry tea time!
Set the Table:
Any table setting will work for poetry tea time but if you want something different, create a vase of balloons taped to sticks. One for each child. Inside each balloon, add a piece of paper that tells why you are thankful for that child.
Thanksgiving Poems Selected by Myra Cohn Livingston
The Circle of Thanks: Native American Poems and Songs of Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
Merrily Comes in Our Harvest: Poems for Thanksgiving by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Thanksgiving Day at our House: Poems for the Very Young by Nancy White Carlstrom
It’s Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky
Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving by Katherine Paterson
This is the Feast by Diane ZuHone Shore
Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Francis Child
The Art Activity:
I'll be offering my kids two art options. The first is the corn cob mixed media project. It will be a perfect fit for my younger set. The second is the "thankful tree," a beautiful combination of writing and art. Click on either image to get to the directions.
The Poem Writing:
Keep it simple. Have each child write an acrostic for THANKSGIVING, listing for each letter things for which they are grateful. These could be added to the artwork above. Get creative.