Tomorrow begins one of my favorite class activities of the whole school year–the daily posting of “gratitude leaves” on our windows.
Why do I love it so? Well, visually, the month of November in Oregon is terribly gloomy. With this practice, the gloom outdoors is gradually obscured by brightly colored leaves.
Even more so, here in the U.S., Thanksgiving falls in November, and so it seems appropriate to focus our thinking on things for which we are grateful.
Most significantly, Studies have shown that people who are grateful tend to live happier, healthier lives. I want the best for my students, and as the holidays make life more hectic, I need to remember I have so much to be grateful for!
What are Gratitude Leaves?
They are individual paper leaves, that we as staff cut out in a variety of shapes and colors. Each day, at the beginning of the school day, we pass out a single leaf to each students and every adult present. Then everyone writes one thing they are grateful for and tapes their leaves to the window. We continue to do this until we break for Thanksgiving.
By the time Thanksgiving break comes our windows glow with beautiful autumn colors as the western light shines through them.
My Gratitude Leaves, 2016
Here is what I wrote on my leaves last year:
- I am grateful to have a husband who loves me and who is my friend and partner in life.
- I am thankful Emmy snuggled with David and I to watch the family Halloween movie.
- I am thankful that using the treadmill yesterday woke me up enough to get my work done.
- I am thankful for my Grandparents and the way their love helped shape who I am.
- I am grateful to be a child of God.
- I am thankful for my delightful Grandkids.
- I am grateful for my college education.
- I am grateful to have a mother who loved to read, that learning to read came easily to me, and I have had ample access to books.
- I am thankful for my charming, delightful, funny, marvelous grandchildren
- I am thankful for chocolate.
- I am thankful that I know how to read and have access to books!
- I am thankful to be able to come back to work.
- I am grateful for parents who love me.
- Today is my writing day!
Today is my writing day! However, before I move on