In early November, we began having conversations about our upcoming Thanksgiving Feast. Their memories of our past feasts (yes, we do have memories from Brown Room -- "When all of the stuff was on the tables down there.") and their experience with table settings (particularly in KW), led them to create a Thanksgiving Feast of their own in between the low table and black and white area. Materials and loose parts from both of those areas of the classroom came together to create our original Tucker Room Thanksgiving Feast.
An invitation to recreate the feast
"We need it to be beautiful." - Jane, 4.11 years
Jane, Reed, Violet, and Janie were initially working on the set up when Sylvie and Maxon decided to join. Together, they had each place setting ready before sitting down. Then, a new idea was introduced (at the end of this video):
As you will undoubtably hear, Persimmon jam was a popular condiment being served at our feast. Therefore, we plan to make persimmon jam as part of our Tucker Room feast for next week.
What did we miss? What steps do we need to take?
Sylvie's observation (heard in the video above) that we had forgotten a table cloth made us (as the teachers) stop and think about how we can revisit this feast process; how could we slow down a bit and make a plan so that perhaps we didn't forget something the next time. This also offered us an opportunity to expand on a conversation we've been having with the children about revisiting, revising, and adding complexity and layers to our work.
The drawings also opened up a conversation about layering our drawings. Reed was concerned that if she drew plates on top of her colorful table cloth, you might not be able to see them. We decided that perhaps a darker color for the plates might allow her to add them on top.
As we began to put our plan into action, reminders to slow down and focus on the details of their plan were needed. For example, they decided that simply placing the fork, spoon, and knife on top of the napkin was not to their liking; they wanted to roll them up into the fabric. This needed to be completed for each place setting before moving on to the next step.
The children used so many materials and once again, truly collaborated on each piece of their Thanksgiving Feast arrangement. Then, with some encouragement from Melanie, they began to carefully arrange the food on the plates for "feast arrangements" inspired by our snack time work.
Plating our food (making arrangements)
Setting the feast for the parents
The work of the past week (or so) was evident in their careful arrangement of the plates, silverware, drinking glasses (with ice of course), serving dishes, etc. Their signs only enhanced their work.
The Thanksgiving Feast is an ongoing process in our classroom (even as of today, the 16th). The children find joy each day in setting it up, sharing the space, inviting family to eat, and more. It has also been a time to observe the leadership of children who seem to love this kind of work. Jane has been very vocal and taking on a strong leadership role throughout this journey. Along with Janie and Reed, they have drawn in almost all of the children in Tucker Room. It has been a really beautiful journey to this point. We cannot wait to see how they arrange the tables for our Thanksgiving Feast next week.