For Thanksgiving 2015, i taught it to my kids - the history, where it's celebrated (USA & Canada, but different dates), and why it's celebrated. To keep the spirit of gratefulness alive in their minds, i had them start Grateful Journals, that they will write in for the rest of the school year (at least, hopefully). They are supposed to write 3 things they're grateful for everyday - trying not to repeat themselves too much - and then i have them read aloud 3 things they are most grateful for from the week, and they receive a sticker. My 5th, 6th, & 7th graders are most compliant, but my 8th & 9th graders aren't. So for them, in the beginning of class, i ask them to say 3 things they are grateful for at the moment. The point of the Grateful Journals are to bring to their conscience's reasons to be grateful on a daily basis - especially for the small things, like pumpkin porridge and soft warm jammies. Another motivator for my 5th-7th graders is that i keep a Grateful Journal too, and read to them 3 things from it every week also (i read it to my 8th & 9th graders too, but they still don't care, ut o well...maybe it's reaching 1 kid, which is a success in my mind). I always include "normal, every day" things (like my pillow, socks, or the color green) in the hopes that they'll also start recognizing "normal, every day" things from a grateful perspective too.
For the activity of the day, i taught them how to make the traditional Thanksgiving hand turkey, and had them write something they are grateful for on each finger feather. Below was my example (I wrote Fall, my dog, my students, and God's love).
This is the end result. I didn't even receive a quarter of my total number of students, but i knew i wouldn't, which ended up working out anyway for the space i had to hang them on the wall.
Both my partner teachers LOVED the hand turkeys, and took my example to make for themselves and use in future classes! :oD It was pretty cute.