At the Yeshiva of Central Queens (YCQ), preparing for Thanksgiving and Chanukah has been a school-wide extraordinary adventure. Morah Yaffi Salek, Grade 3 teacher, says, “This time of year is special for my students. The Chanukah spirit is felt when they play a nightly Hebrew interactive game that they’ve created. The game is played while the menorah is burning.”

In Language Arts, Ms. Laffer, Grade 3 English teacher, read “Molly’s Pilgrim” to classes 3-211 and 3-212. “Wow, did they get into this book! We made predictions about the characters, self-to-text and text-to-text connections, explored the character traits of Molly and Elizabeth, and discussed the theme. In the story, Molly is teased by her classmates and made to feel different because she is Jewish and Russian. When asked to make a pilgrim for a Thanksgiving project, Molly’s mother creates a doll that resembles a Russian girl. Her mother explains that since their family came to the United States to freely practice their religion, they are pilgrims like the English pilgrims at the First Thanksgiving. They have come to America to live a better life.”

Morah Ilyce Richter, Early Childhood teacher, reported, “Our three-year-old students are ready for Thanksgiving with our handprint and footprint turkeys. Everything we do is hands-on, and sometimes even feet-on!”

“For the past month, Grade 5 students have been taking time every day to reflect on all that they have for which to be grateful. Every day, a few students shared one thing that they wrote on their list. This week, students decorated a ‘Thankful Tree’ to highlight how blessed they are,” notes Mrs. Talia Hoffman, Grade 5 teacher.

Morah Michelle Bloom, Kindergarten teacher, stated: Grade 1 made ‘I Am Thankful For” placemats. The students wrote what they are thankful for and drew a picture of it. We also made aprons, with the student’s handprint, that was turned into a Turkey! The yeladim can use this to help with the cooking on Thanksgiving. This time of year is special, because with Chanukah and Thanksgiving close to one another, the students learn what it means to be thankful and why we daven to Hashem. Then, with Chanukah just around the corner, we discussed the story and all the miracles that occurred. We’re thankful for the miracles Hashem performs for us every day.”

Mrs. Chavi Lucks wrote, “For Thanksgiving, Grade 3 explored introspection. We took note of what we are thankful for having, what we are thankful to be able to do, and what about ourselves we are thankful for. Finally, we wrote about gratitude for our wonderful families.”