I’ve been doing Thanksgiving lessons for three weeks because there’s not a scrap about it in the textbooks, something I consider a serious omission. So, I told them about Massasoit and putting corn seeds in fish and traditional foods besides pizza and hamburgers. In every class, I made them say “I’m thankful for __.”
The 8th graders, always eager, started saying thank you to each other before I finished explaining what we were about to do. Which was, in a way, sweet. And, in another way, depressing. “I am thankful to Shnar, because she gave me the answers to the physics test.” “I am thankful to Shnar because she let me say her homework was mine.” Shnar has a lot of friends. I can’t remember if Botagoz said anything about flying saucers, which she usually does. (She really loved the unit I did on Things in the Sky.)
The 9th grade boys (I teach a class for the boys and a class for the girls, which has isolated the goofiness factor) told the hapless New Kid to say “I am thankful for you,” to me. They giggled and then all said it. They asked me what I was thankful and I told them “I am thankful for you, the zoo,” which made Monkey fall out of his chair laughing. They all have animal nicknames (the dormitory kids give everyone a nickname. I don’t know mine) – some nice, some not. Donkey wants his changed. Giraffe doesn’t. Wild Pig, said “I would be thankful if you let us out early.” But I’m afraid I let them out late.