Since an at-home caseload varies, this year the majority of my students are older, with my grades ranging from 3rd grade to 9th grade. That could change next week, but for now, I get the pleasure of working with these sweet older (dare I even say, more mature) students.
If you know me at all, you KNOW how I love this time of year. Holiday treats, lessons and crafts are all my favorite but let me tell you, it is HARD coming up with a Thanksgiving activity for older students. I couldn’t do the adorable little turkeys with feathers or pilgrim hats or corn-on-the-cob crafts for this group of learners. Instead, I came up with these Gratitude Boxes and I liked them so much, I made one for myself 🙂
They were super easy and not only address goals such as writing in complete sentences and providing reasons, I believe counting blessings is good for the soul and sometimes, just what our students AND ourselves need.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Small take-out boxes (you can find these at any craft store)
- Tags (I printed “My Gratitude Box” on clear labels and we stuck one on each tag but you could also have your students write it on.
- Fun colored ribbon
- One-sided scrapbook paper. I have so much scrap, scrapbook paper (double word!) it was nice to have a purpose for some of it! Don’t worry about getting them the same size, just plop a bunch of it down and students write on the back.
We talked about what the words “gratitude” and “thankfulness” mean. Then, I had my students write ten (yes ten) gratitude statements saying what they were thankful for and why. The “why” to me is important and it’s also good practice for our students.
Students love being able to choose their own fun scrapbook paper. And I love this student’s thankful sentence 🙂 (and no, it wasn’t prompted!).
Once they were complete, we folded them and placed them into our boxes.
Last, and probably most important, we talked about how gratitude can really change our attitude. I told my students when they are having a bad day, pull out their gratitude box and start reading about all they are thankful for. As I was sharing this, I realized I really need to take my own advice and decided to make a Gratitude box for myself. I love activities that further learning AND encourage our students!