The leaves are falling, the wind is picking up, and pumpkin spice is EVERYWHERE. There is something about the Northeast cool down that makes us come together and reflect on what we are thankful for. Gratitude is one of the more difficult concepts to teach children. Being appreciative as well as sensitive to other’s feelings are important life skills that children need to learn in order to function in school and the greater community.
A few years ago, I was looking for something new to do with my students in honor of Thanksgiving when I came across the Dr. Seuss book, “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?”
I’ll be honest; it’s a long book. It’s definitely too long for a 30 minute session. However it’s was the first few pages that really drew me in. The book starts with an older man singing a song about telling yourself how lucky you are. I was intrigued at how Sr. Seuss chose to use the word, “lucky.” Over time, I found that when I ask my students to tell me something they were thankful for, they often list tangible items, i.e. my bike, my doll, etc. These are totally acceptable responses but I like that “lucky,” can make you think a little broader. It doesn’t just apply to getting something tangible, but applies to good events that happen in your life. You can say you are lucky to spend time with your family on a Saturday morning or that the sun was shining on your birthday.
As I continued looking for activities I came across this PDF on www.seusville.com that highlighted the excerpt from the first few pages which was perfect for those quick sessions where reading the entire book would be too much.
I LOVED that I could use this one handout with a wide range of ages. With my preschoolers, I read the poem and we made turkey crafts, fall wreaths, etc. to display what made us lucky. With my older kids, it gave us the opportunity to practice our writing skills writing anywhere from a sentence to a paragraph.
To get even more “speechy,” you could practice other targets using the poem leading that could lead to a thankful craft or project later. Some additional targets I was able to work on with this poem included vocabulary (synonyms), rhyming words (phonological awareness), emotional intelligence (pragmatics), and point of view (pragmatics).
You can grab your own copy of this FREE PDF from Seussville.com here!