Friday, November 25, 2011

Discovering Thanksgiving

Through the grapevine I had heard that Thanksgiving was a big deal at Savannah's new school. Still, I had no idea the production in store for the kids and parents until I arrived and the annual Thanksgiving Day Festival.

Festivities began with Savannah's class reciting all of Psalms 100 in front of a sea of Native Americans spotted with a few pilgrims. That's right, all students, teachers, and some parents dressed the part for the day. Some of the costumes were very elaborate.

Then the kindergartners put on an adorable short play telling the story of Thanksgiving. And then we were sent off to learn and play.

The first stop for us was Thanksgiving art where they made authentic tie-dyed turkeys just like the pilgrims did! Just kidding, but it was a craft that Savannah greatly enjoyed. Here she is with her classmates and teacher.

The final product which now hangs on our fridge.

From there the class went to snack time where they learned about what the pilgrims probably ate that first Thanksgiving and were able to try a few new foods. Afterwards they got to Pet a few live animals and learn what the Native Americans and pilgrims would have used them. Thrown in there as well was storytime hosted by someone's grandmother who was absoulutly charming! She was the kind of woman you wanted to call Granny the first time you meet her even though she wasn't your granny.

At this point the children were on a pilgrim high and it was time to bring them back to the deeper meaning of the holiday, thanking God for all His amazing blessings. Music time served just that purpose with old hymns and modern praise songs. There is nothing more moving than a room full of children praising God with their voices. We adults stopped singing for a while and just took in the heavenly sound.

The last stop on this Thanksgiving train was game time which was highly entertaining for the parents. The kids played turkey dodge ball. Basically a group of kids were selected to be turkeys and had to stand in the middle of the circle by the tee pee. The other kids were the hunters and tried to nail them with the balls. Circular dodge ball! It looked more like a turkey slaughter house and had the parents laughing their heads off.

The game got so intense at one point I saw my usually non-athletic daughter pick up the whole bucket of balls and run with the chucking a new ball at her victims with each step!

The funniest part was when they played girls against boys and the girls were the turkeys. They all hid behind the tee pee (the parent in charge was smart enough to make this round uni-directional instead of circular). When is was the other way around we had to keep telling the boys that turkeys are not allowed to throw balls back at the hunters. Just more evidence that boys are meant to go out and hunt for our food (and use up some of that testosterone!) while girls are smart enough to figure out how to solve a problem and keep themselves safe.

With each field trip and event at Savannah's school I become ever more thankful for the opportunity to be apart. This place has been a true blessing!