For Gifts Great And Small, Fraser Woods Montessori School Gathers To Give Thanks
Students and faculty at Fraser Woods Montessori School celebrated Thanksgiving with a ceremony on Wednesday, November 23, in their Common Area.
The assembly brought the whole school together to give thanks and to also enjoy a variety of speakers and performances.
Head of School Chris Robertson led the event by encouraging the students to be thankful for even the smallest gifts in life, like being able to breathe.
He told the heartfelt story about a teacher he knew who was born with a lung disease. Mr Robertson explained to the students that even though she had a lot of difficulties breathing, she would always express her appreciation for the days she could take a breath with ease.
"I was thinking about Thanksgiving and how wonderful so many things are in our lives. Sometimes, though, there are things that can be tough in our lives," Mr Robertson said.
"We are very grateful for the people around us who love us, and we are grateful for our school, and for our friends and family. But sometimes during tough days we can be grateful for a breath, that we have eyes to see beautiful colors in the morning, that we can walk out of bed," he continued. "There are small moments in our lives that we can be filled with gratitude. Big things are fine to be thankful for, but everyday there is something we can feel a sense of gratitude for."
Mr Robertson then brought up the middle school representatives to read sections of a Native American poem called "The Four Elements."
When they spoke about how the story's guardians of the East had the power of air, a student from the audience walked over to the table in the center of the room and presented wind chimes. For the tale of the guardians of the South, whose power was fire, an older student symbolically lit a candle. A pitcher of water was brought to the center table when they told about the power of water for the guardians of the West. Lastly, a young student brought over a large gourd to place on the table, which represented the guardians of the North's power of earth.
The next group to present at the ceremony were fourth and fifth graders from upper elementary, who shared the history of Thanksgiving. They educated the audience about how the Mayflower set sail on their voyage to America in 1620, and landed in Provincetown, Mass. After settling in Plymouth, Mass., the pilgrims developed a relationship with the native Americans. However it was not until 1941, when Congress officially instated Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November, that the holiday became what it is today.
Afterward, each class had three student representatives speak about what they are thankful for this year.
One of the lower school students poetically said on behalf of his class, "Let's give thanks for you and me and for our home and families."
The lower elementary students said they were thankful for a variety of topics from people that save and help them to having medicine, pets, and rainbows. Upper elementary thanked the influential people in their lives and their education from Fraser Woods Montessori School, while the middle school was grateful for their family and friends.
Once all the classes had the opportunity to list everything they were thankful for, Mr Robertson invited faculty and staff members to share what makes them grateful. Many expressed that they love working at Fraser Woods and are grateful for the inspiration the students give them each day.
Stone Soup for the middle school students to perform at the Thanksgiving Ceremony. Instead of just one hungry traveler, like the original tale, she modified the story to showcase a group of travelers in order to include more students participation.
Middle school humanities teacher Wendy Musk proved to be so inspired by her students that she wrote a version of the folktale
At the beginning of the tale, Ms Musk, adorned with a bonnet for her role as narrator, taught all the children in the crowd some interactive parts - like making rain noises to prep the setting and what phrases to shout out at certain times. Students in the crowd also got to participate by bringing up the different ingredients to make the stone soup.
The student actors in lead roles were dressed up as their characters, including two "identical" twin, which were portrayed by two students with a height difference of more than a foot. The light-hearted tale had the whole school laughing.
Mr Robertson wrapped up the performance by sharing that the story ties into Thanksgiving, because it is about being mindful for what you have and what you have to give.
The Thanksgiving ceremony at Fraser Woods Montessori School concluded with a feast of the baked breads that all the classes participated in making at the school. It was a Thanksgiving treat everyone could be thankful for.