Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nurturing virtue: Thankfulness (Gratitude)

What we did this week:

After defining the virtue of thankfulness we used finger puppets to act out what being thankful looks like, read this book, then made our virtue posters for the week. {Rylan drew his mom, dad, and Damian…just melt my heart}

We used to save a portion of our circle time to reflect on what we are grateful for at that moment, but last week we changed this a little. Now we carry out this reflection each day during our family dinner. I thought it would be good to do this as a family, instead of just me with the boys, plus it stimulates interesting dinner conversation. We all reflect on our day together, Ramtin gets to hear everything we did and we get to hear about his day, and because it is all done in the light of what we are grateful for, it brings more joy and smiles to the table. It is a wonderful family tradition that I am glad we started, and highly recommend. Recent research has shown that having an attitude of thankfulness can lead to a healthier, happier life; so this is a great way to foster it as a natural part of our children's character (and our own too!). A variation of this activity could be to create a family gratitude jar.

We built this tree of thankfulness throughout the week, adding a few more leaves each day.We played two games related to thankfulness this week – the first one was the gratitude bag. I filled a bag with little cards on which were written things that I know the boys love (are grateful for), plus some pictures of those things (for Damian’s sake). I cut the pictures from old magazines. I also threw in several cards that just said “thankful for”, so the kids could add their own thoughts to the game. We took turns pulling a card out the bag and then explaining why we are grateful for the item on it.
The second game was to list the “best thing” about whatever I called out. I made a list of things, here are some examples: trees, the beach, music, books, sunny days, rainy days, this room, our family, your brother, right now, our neighborhood, dinosaurs, our planet, pencils, paper, fruit, dentists, etc. The goal was to call out the best thing about each of them as quickly as possible, hopefully an exercise in focusing on the positive aspects of things, which is a part of being able to feel gratitude.

We were also going to make a set of thank you cards to have on hand for future need (I have made a point of teaching my boys to always make thank you cards for gifts they are given), but we had the opportunity to spend a day here with friends, so we skipped Friday’s activity…but we had a lot to be grateful for at the end of the day! :)

Happy virtue teaching!

Previous week: courtesy


  1. I always love your ideas. I hope you dont mind I keep posting them to my Facebook group, just because I think other people would really like them as well!

  2. No, go ahead, the more the merrier! :)



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