Students and Staff sit around a table, ready to eat

Thanksgiving In The Classroom

Thanksgiving has been an annual American tradition on the fourth Thursday of November since 1863, upon President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation. It is celebrated to honor the first settlers of our country, and the pilgrims’ early survival in the harsh New World. It is celebrated in the classrooms of Fargo Public Schools as well.

students and teacher around a piano
Instructor Justin DePaolis-Metz works with the Adaptive Music students on a song. Several of the students sing and sign the lyrics.

The students in Adaptive Music at Ben Franklin Middle School are learning “Turkey in the Straw” to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a well-known American folk song, dating from the early 1800’s.

Adaptive Music class, taught by Justin DePaolis-Metz, is for students with special needs in grades six through eight, and gives every student a positive, hands-on, individualized approach to music regardless of ability. There is a wide range of students in the class, so they sing, move and dance, learn sign language, listen and distinguish similarities and differences in the music, feel sound vibrations, discern beat and rhythm, and more.

palm print turkey decorations
Palm print turkeys are iconic holiday decorations.

To enhance their music experience and establish a holiday setting, DePaolis-Metz had his students create iconic Thanksgiving turkey decorations. The students traced their hands on colored construction paper, cut them out, and glued on pre-cut feathers to create their turkeys. The turkeys are displayed in the music classroom, so that all the Ben Franklin Middle School music students may enjoy them.

Project inVEST is a special education program located at the Agassiz Building that provides daily living skills training for 18- to 21-year-olds as these students transition from school years to successful independent living.

Students baking a dessert
Students creating Apple Crisp for dessert under the watchful eye of the instructor.

As part of their curriculum, the Project inVEST students planned, cooked and served a traditional Thanksgiving meal in the kitchen setting at Agassiz. The students sat down together in true celebratory style with coordinator Ruth Carnal and other staff members to enjoy their holiday meal in the dining room setting. Highlights of the menu included roasted and carved turkey, of course, and apple crisp.

people carving a cooked turkey
Students learn to carve the cooked turkey as part of the holiday meal preparations.

Happy Thanksgiving to all Fargo Public Schools families as you celebrate on November 28!