An Attitude of Gratitude at Onekama School

Second grade: Second grade authors show off their original books


Onekama Students Give Thanks


In all corners of the Onekama School building, students and teachers are having meaningful conversations about the importance of expressing appreciation this Thanksgiving holiday.


“Did you know that people who show gratitude are happier and healthier than people who do not?” commented Onekama sixth grader Joy Rogers. “In our class, we read informational articles that taught us that showing gratitude is not only good for the people we thank. It is good for us, too.”


Onekama students spent the days leading up to Thanksgiving break reading, writing, creating, and learning…all in the spirit of Thanksgiving.


Some pursuits were artistic, including a turkey craft by the Kindergarten class, and turkey drumstick hats made and proudly worn by the first grade.


The second grade classroom focused their efforts on writing and creating a collaborative book titled “Turkey Facts.”

“Student Treasures offers a program where teachers can have their class make a class book and get it professionally bound,” explained second grade teacher Ben Mauntler. “I took up the offer and the class took on the challenge. We learned about the writing process, working with partners, working towards a deadline, and more.”


Third grade students read informational text to learn about the Pilgrims and the history of Thanksgiving. Third grade student Ryan Hrachovina said, “I learned that the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to trap, hunt, and fish.”


For the past 16 years, Onekama fourth grade students have participated in a turkey creation competition. Students and their families construct unique turkeys, and then the entire school casts ballots to determine the winner.  The student-made turkeys are displayed in the school entrance each year for the entire school family and visitors to enjoy.


In the middle school, sixth grade students participated in a weeklong study of gratitude by completing a module through Frontier education that introduced students to the social, emotional, and physical benefits of expressing gratitude.


Armed with new knowledge about the importance of expressing and receiving gratitude, students participated in The Gratitude Project. Each sixth grade student selected a member of the school’s support staff to write and deliver a heartfelt letter of appreciation.


Finally, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, there were cross-grade partnerships taking place throughout the building as well, allowing students to work collaboratively with others and realize how fortunate they are to be part of such a close-knit school.


“I loved helping my first grade partner Owen with his Thanksgiving writing project,” said eighth grade student Sophie Wisniski. “I thought it was fun to be in the first grade classroom again and to see how much all of them looked up to our class and trusted us to help them.”

6th grade: As part of the “Gratitude Project,” sixth grade students each wrote and delivered 
a letter of appreciation to a member of the Onekama School community.

Sixth Grader thanks Mr. McKenney

8th & 1st, 1: In a cross-grade collaboration, eighth grader Ashley McGrady helped her first grade buddy, Hazel Sedelmaier, complete a reading response project.


Sixth grader sends letter of thanks to Mr. Hughes

4th grade:  This year’s winners of the annual Fourth Grade Turkey Contest are (L to R): 
Owen Madsen, Aubrey LeSarge, 
and Kolton Wolverton.