With Thanksgiving coming up soon, it’s a good time to incorporate the holiday into your lesson plans. From setting the table to being thankful, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to teach your students practical life skills that they’ll use for the rest of their lives.

Be Responsible & Promote Togetherness by Setting the Table


Montessori seeks to teach children valuable, practical life skills. With Thanksgiving dinner coming up soon, it’s a good time to emphasize how children can help make the feast a reality by setting the table. Ask questions related to the table like:

  • “Why do we need to set the table at Thanksgiving?”
  • “Why should the table look nice for Thanksgiving?”
  • “What do we need to set the table with?”

That way, children learn responsibility and why setting the table is important—Thanksgiving meal or not. Make the lesson fun by adding Thanksgiving crafts like placemats that the children can personalize and use.

Be Kind to Others by Practicing Manners

No matter the time of year or the event, manners are very important. With family and friends coming over to celebrate Thanksgiving, incorporate manners into your lessons. What do we do when someone won’t share? How do you greet guests? What if someone is behaving inappropriately?

Teaching manners in the classroom is a good way for students to practice their skills with their peers before putting those skills to use in the home. Emphasize that being polite doesn’t mean being a “pushover.” When guests come over for Thanksgiving, students will know how to behave and respectfully respond to others who may be rude.

Promote Critical Thinking by Being Thankful

It may sound cliché, but have a lesson that encourages children to think deeply about what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving and why. In doing so, they can learn critical thinking and reasoning skills. Again, ask questions like “Why are you thankful for your parents/pet/sibling?” and avoid the temptation to guide their reasoning. The goal is to have your students to form their own opinions.

In addition, it’s a good idea to emphasize to your students that even though Thanksgiving is once a year, they should remember to be thankful all year round. That way, they can learn to appreciate what they have in their lives and how to give back to those they love.

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