Holiday Cookie Exchange
Radix Elementary School

In this lesson, students will discuss jobs adults do at their school and why it is important to show respect to all workers. The class will then make holiday cookie trays for the custodial maintenance staff and cafeteria staff.

• Students will gain an understanding of the jobs and people that are necessary to keep a school running smoothly.
• Students will appreciate the work that is completed in a school building after the children leave.
• Students will create a class gift for some of the workers at the school that often go unnoticed.
• Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha (book or video)
• cookie trays or disposable plates, wrap (such as cellophane), and ribbon to tie wrap
• cookies or other holiday treats, made at home by students and their families
• materials to make cards, such as construction paper and markers
Lesson on school jobs:
1. In small groups, students brainstorm a list of jobs and people that are necessary for a school to run smoothly. Typically the children mention teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals. At this point the teacher can give hints to the children to try and get them to mention the custodial/maintenance staff and the cafeteria staff.
2. Once there is a sufficient list of people working at the school, the children can brainstorm a list of tasks that these people complete on a daily basis. They should also list why those jobs are important.
3. After the lists are complete, the class should discuss the jobs and their importance.
4. Finally, the children will listen to the book or watch the video Trashy Town.

Class Meeting:
1. The teacher will facilitate a discussion on how some jobs may go unnoticed but that they are very important. The teacher will lead the children into a discussion (based on Trashy Town) about what would happen if certain jobs were never done. This will lead into a discussion about why we need to show respect and be caring towards all adults who work in the school building.
2. The children can brainstorm some things that can be done to thank some of the workers in school.
3. The teacher will ask the children to bake cookies (or other treats) to create cookie trays as gifts for the workers. This also allows for a family connection, as children are instructed to go home, discuss ideas with their parents, and figure out together what they would like to contribute. (The teacher may need to send a letter home to parents explaining the project.)

Cookie Exchange:
1. The children will bring in the baked goods and the class will have a “cookie exchange” in order to create trays of different types of baked goods. (This could also lead to a discussion of the value of diversity.) The trays or plates of cookies can be wrapped with cellophane and tied with ribbon.
2. While some students are creating the trays, other children make thank you cards for the workers.
3. After the trays and cards are ready, the children will present the gifts and cards to the workers personally, allowing the students to see the impact of their caring. Be sure to leave some for those who work in the evenings.
The lists that the groups generate can be used as an assessment. Also, there will be an informal assessment through class discussion in the class meeting and while making the cookie trays.