Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I do love Thanksgiving

Every year around Thanksgiving I start to think it's time to go back to the classroom. I start getting nostalgic for the days of having my own room, planning my own lessons, and creating my own units. The thing is, I LOVE teaching about Thanksgiving. It's such a great narrative story- one the kids at my school can especially connect to, and over the years I've discovered how to pack many different parts of the curriculum into studying about the pilgrims. Last year I tried to do my whole Thanksgiving unit in just one day for one of my classes and it just didn't work.

This year I wasn't going to get to teach any type of social studies/Thanksgiving themed lessons at all until Splattypus asked me to take over her butter-making workshop since she was going out of town today. (We'd done it together two years ago)

I love making butter with elementary school classes. I've done it every year I've taught and have to admit I think it may be the coolest thing ever. Watching 5 year olds faces express utter shock and amazement when the liquid milk turns into butter- listening to them gasp with delight as they eat the delicious cream they just spent 15 minutes shaking furiously while practicing some rote counting skills.

I taught 4 different kindergarten classes how to make butter today. But every time it was the same-

Where do you think butter comes from?

The store!



The roots!


Under the ground!


Guess what- lean in closely, I say in a hushed voice, and I'll tell you the secret of where butter comes from.

They all lean in, hanging on every word.

Butter comes from milk and that comes from cows!

Gasps of amazement and awe follow.

And we are going to make butter today! I announce in an excited whisper, as though I am delivering an important secret.

Spontaneous applause.

How do I not love my job?

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