Thanksgiving Storytime

re-posted from last fall

“In everything give thanks.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Tomorrow I have the honor of leading our homeschool group’s preschool storytime at the library, and this month’s theme — just in time for Thanksgiving — is thankfulness and contentment.

In my research and preparation for storytime, I keep coming across the “Five Kernels” tradition in various places. I’ve never heard of it before, but it’s a simple and meaningful little tradition that I plan to incorporate this year in our family’s Thanksgiving meal.

The Five Kernels tradition is based on the Pilgrim’s “starving time” during the spring of 1623. Some say all that was left to eat was five kernels of corn a day for each person. Likewise, the tradition is to put five kernels of corn on each plate at the beginning of the Thanksgiving meal. One by one, each person gives thanks to God for five specific blessings, puts the kernels in a basket, and passes the basket to the next person.

I’m also going to give this a whirl during storytime, but we may just do two or three kernels since the audience is so young.

Of course storytime will feature some great lessons on thankfulness, too! We’ll read about God providing bread, quail and water for the Israelites (in Mighty Acts of God). We’ll also read about a discontent little bird, Gertrude McFuss, one of the “other” stories in Dr. Seuss’s Yertle the Turtle. At the end, everyone will get one feather to take home.

Storytime will also feature Lydia Maria Child’s classic Thanksgiving poem, “Over the River and Through the Wood,” and Laurie Berkner’s song, “I’m Going to Eat on Thanksgiving Day.”

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