Give Thanks! A Unit Study About Gratefulness
- Tuesday, January 17, 2012
“Oh, that I could dedicate my all to God. This is all the return I can make Him.”
• Use your best handwriting to copy the definitions of gratitude, thanksgiving, and thankfulness, as found in the 1828 edition of Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (www.1828.mshaffer.com).
• As a family, learn how to say “thank you” in at least five different languages, including sign language. Get a book from the library that provides this information, or check out these websites for assistance: www.etailersdigest.com/greetings/saythanks.htm, http://web.archive.org/web/20110723114654/http://users.elite.net/runner/jennifers/thankyou.htm, and www.wikihow.com/Say-Thanks-in-Different-Languages.
• Take a class to learn how to make your own cards. Many scrapbooking shops and libraries offer such classes, and usually the only cost involved is the cost of the materials used. Make a thank-you card for someone who is not expecting to receive it!
• Sponsor a card-making party at your house. Invite an adult who loves to make cards (and who loves children too) to come to your home to share her knowledge with young card-makers.
• Learn about the elements of a letter (heading, salutation, body, closing signature). Check out this creative, free resource, titled “Letter Generator,” for use by your younger students: www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/letter-generator-30005.html. Ask each of your students to write a letter to a neighbor, friend, or relative, expressing his or her gratitude for that person’s friendship or example of excellent character. Encourage each child to describe a specific instance in which he or she was blessed and encouraged by this person.
• Practice expressing gratitude by saying “thank you” politely, promptly, clearly, and sincerely whenever you receive anything from anyone. Practice making eye contact with the person to whom you express thanks.
• Ask each student to name or list ten things he or she is thankful for. Lead your children in prayers of gratitude for those things.
• Many songs that teach the importance of saying “thank you” are available. Find some at your local library, or purchase your own copies at your favorite children’s bookstore. Learn them and sing them together regularly.
• Many worship songs talk about thankfulness. Choose one as your family theme song to sing before meals or times of family worship.
• Organize a presentation day in which your children either recite a Scripture, sing, or play a piece of music related to a theme of thankfulness.
Arts and Crafts
• Make a “gratefulness wreath” to present to someone your family appreciates, such as your mail carrier, Scout leader, pastor, or even your favorite cashier at the grocery store! To make the wreath, trace around the hands of each child, using a different color of construction paper or colored tagboard for each pair of hands. The children may decorate and/or write their names on their handprints and then cut them out. Cut out a cardboard circle that is approximately 1 inch wide and 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Randomly glue or staple the cut-out handprints onto the cardboard circle.
Staple a piece of looped ribbon to the back of the wreath, with the loop extending well beyond the edge of the handprints that are glued to the cardboard backing. The wreath can be hung on the wall or a door knob. Commission an older student to create an attractive thank-you card to present along with the gratefulness wreath. Ask every family member to sign the card.
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