28 November 2012

Thankful in Indonesia

Last Thursday and Friday, my co-teacher and I taught a lesson about Thanksgiving. I used material from my colleagues and the State Department to teach my students about the holiday. The lesson was straight forward: I went through a Power Point Presentation about the history of the holiday, I had the students do a small activity about what they were thankful for, and we sang Over the River and Through the Woods

Here is a short list of what some of my students are thankful for: 
1. God
2. Parents who care for them and treat them well 
3. Their friends 
4. Me, for coming to Indonesia to help teach them English (I thought I might cry after hearing this one.)
5. Their friends, and 
6. God 

For the activity, I had my students trace their hands 
and write what they were thankful for in each finger. 

After reading a passage about Thanksgiving, I asked the students if they had any questions for me about the holiday. Let me tell you, younger people ask the most interesting questions. One student wanted to know what I did on Thanksgiving day. So, I told her what I did from getting up to eating dinner. Another student wanted to know why pumpkins were also considered a symbol of Thanksgiving because he thought they were only a symbol for and used during Halloween. I explained that pumpkins are harvested during both months and that is why they are used and consumed. Another student wanted to know why turkeys were a symbol of Thanksgiving. So, I walked her through a part of the passage which stated that the Native Americans brought turkey to the first dinner and that it has been a part of tradition ever since. The last question turned into a geography lesson. One student wanted to know if I went home for the holiday. I couldn't help it and let out a laugh. I told her that my home was too far away for me to go and return overnight. To make sure they understood this, I drew Indonesia and the United States on the board separated by the Pacific Ocean, and told them that I was around 10,000 miles away from home (35 hours by plane). Then, I heard a few ooo's and ahh's, as well as some laughter. I think they got the point.

We ended the lesson with the song. First, I let them listen to the song on Youtube. Next, I sang it. Then, I let them practice alone. I recorded the best version from my most enthusiastic and well-behaved class. I hope you enjoy it! This was, by far, my favorite lesson to teach. 

This is Kelas XB. Overall, they are very engaged and many 
of the students participate willingly. I call them my "Angel" class. 

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