“I’m thankful for vultures!” We were making a list of things we were thankful for and “vultures” was one item listed. (Have you ever thanked God for vultures?) When I wondered about this, the child said, “Because, they eat dead things!” Okay, that makes sense.
There have been a number of hard things to deal with in the last couple years, so I assigned myself to finding 10 things to be thankful for each day. I would think about this on my way to school, and it really did improve my outlook. I needed to get my focus off the problems, and find things to thank God for. Research tells of these benefits of gratitude: feeling more optimistic, improved health, and building connections are a few areas of the benefits of gratitude (Harvard, 2021). And certainly there is much scripture that reminds us to be grateful
My students enjoyed writing a Gratitude Journal each morning. We did it as a class, but it would be an effective individual task for older students. The journal was something I found online and had questions that we answered each morning. We did one question a day. It would be easy to make your own using questions such as, “Use color words to tell what you are thankful for.” “What makes you happy this morning?” “How could you let someone know you are thankful for them? (Now do it!)” I wrote down everyone’s answers and we later went back and read over our thoughts.
Sing “Count Your Blessings” and make this project:
Another project idea:
A project using Psalm 100:
Gratitude word cloud project:
If someone is listed on one of these projects, make their day and let them know. “My class is listing things we are thankful for, and today they said they are thankful for you!”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 ESV
What are you thankful for? How will you and your students share that with your world?
Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier, August 14, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
Gratitude word clouds adapted from https://lancasteronline.com/features/working-from-home-today-here-are-upbeat-indoor-activities-to/article_1f1be156-6785-11ea-817c-dbc931784264.html?origin=LNP_2020_03_16_WFHkids&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Working+from+home+today%3F&utm_campaign=LNP_2020_03_16_WFHkids
CONTRIBUTOR: Arlene Birt