This year I wanted to do something more connected to nature in some of my classes for Thanksgiving, but this resource can be used any time during the school year. It’s a great and simple way to talk about gratitude with your students. I came across these two beautiful books that inspired my short story in Spanish called “Gracias Madre Tierra.”

The first book is called “Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message” by Chief Jake Swamp. If the book is not available, you can find different read alouds on YouTube, but the one below is my favorite.

The second one is called “Talking with Mother Earth (Poems)- Hablando con Madre Tierra (Poemas)” by Jorge Argueta – Available on Amazon – Affiliate link.

It’s also a great idea to team with homeroom teachers and ask them to read the books with your students. What a beautiful way to create cross-cultural connections! 

Here are some ideas that can be done in class:

  • Have a conversation about the true story of Thanksgiving. Hopefully, this conversation is also happening with your students’ homeroom teachers. And yes! I have this conversation in English with my students.
  1. National Geographic Kids: The First Thanksgiving  (Great to use with students)
  2. Let’s All Tell the True Story About Thanksgiving
  3. Rethinking Thanksgiving: Myths and Misgivings

I have attended some conferences that start with land acknowledgments, especially the People of Color Conference. The school where I currently teach has a land acknowledgment on their website, and many other public and private institutions have one too!

  • Land Acknowledgement: This is usually done at the beginning of a public event to recognize and acknowledge Indigenous Peoples’ land and belonging to a certain territory. It’s a way to honor and show respect to the Indigenous Peoples of the land on which we live or visit. Once you have identified whose lands you are on, you can share the information with your students. It is not necessary to use Spanish for this portion of the class, but you are of course welcome to give it a try.

Here is an idea of what you can say:

I do have to clarify that I am not an expert on this topic, but given the history of these lands, it’s important for our students to know and acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples whose lands were stolen and not to sugarcoat this issue.

Use this website to learn about the territory you live on:

Resources to learn more about Land Acknowledgement:

Fran from the Woke Spanish Teacher also has some resources in Spanish. See below:

I also reposted something that The Woke Coach shared on Instagram:

Embracing Equity explains the importance of Land Acknowledgment in this post.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Embracing Equity (@embracingequity)

I am proud of this resource I created in connection with the gratitude theme. With this resource I also invite teachers to bring Land Acknowledgment to their classes, take a nature walk, and invite students to be thankful to our Madre Tierra.

Available on Teachers Pay Teachers

Last but not least, this beautiful song by José Luis Orozco invites us to give gracias to our Madre Tierra.

Abrazos virtuales!

Updated on November 23, 2020 to include Instragam post by Embracing Equity and Unified Indigenous Movement.