Unpopular opinion: Turkey is just ok. As a matter of fact, I would be just fine without having it on our Thanksgiving menu, but my family would never allow such a thing. I bet you're probably thinking, "she just hasn't had it prepared properly." Well- I have had it brined, injected, basted and baked. We have had deep-fried, cajun and even jerked, but turkey no longer has the appeal for me that it once did. I'm also not a fan of cranberry sauce, but I digress.
We are midway through the month of November and I want to remind and challenge you to move beyond turkey. I don't mean on your dinner table, rather I am talking about your therapy activities, books, and crafts. Usually I go from pumpkins and monsters straight to turkeys, but November has so much more to offer.
Some families do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but teaching lessons on gratitude is universal. November is also a time to honor the contributions of Indigenous People and celebrate Native American Heritage Month (if you are looking for authentic literature by Native authors, read my blog post from Indigenous People's Day.)
Bilal Cooks Daal and Thank You Omu are also top choices when I am looking for stories that depict the power of friendship, kindness, sharing, fellowship, and community. These books are great for targeting inferencing skills and offer unique vocabulary. I like to pair them with a "cooking activity" like making our own version of friendship soup or playing stone soup.
November also marks the beginning of the holiday season when families typically gather and celebrate. I was reminded by a student (being raised by her sibling) that families are not one size fits all. They may look different, but all family structures should be honored and respected. Some children are raised in single-parent homes, some are being raised by grandparents. The variations are endless so I also try to share stories that show different types of family structures.
Who's in My Family? is a great story that shows the youngest of readers how families may look different and come in different sizes, but what matters most is being surrounded by people that you love and that love you back.
Until next time, thank YOU for being here,