Posted on August 18, 2020 / ELC
A big concept for the young mind
To understand the meaning of gratitude, we firstly need to understand the word. Through collaborative learning we initially looked at the word kindness to help us understand the word gratitude. We asked the children if they had anyone be kind or make them happy for any reason this morning? The children responded with:
“When my mum gives me cuddles and kisses, it makes me happy,” Harriet
“I can make my mum happy by giving her flowers,” James
The children then brainstormed ways they could make each other happy,
“I can help a friend that falls down,” Samuel
“If someone is crying I can give them a cuddle,” Jessie
As the children’s understanding of gratitude deepen, we unpacked how you can be grateful for a person, place, animal, or thing?
In one of the lessons we learned that if you use gratitude every day, you are happier and healthier. With the changing world in which we live, it is very important to highlight some of the smaller things for which we can be grateful.
One of the activities the children completed was from the book, ‘Big Life Journal’ by Alexandra Eidens. We read a story in the book which looked at a conservationist named Wong. He was passionate about Sun Bears and dedicated his life to learning and caring for the Sun Bears. It was his love and gratitude for animals that led him to running a Sun Bear Conservation Centre, saving sixty-one Sun Bears.
After the story the children drew themselves as conservationists, choosing an animal that they would like to look after and save.
“I will look after a giraffe in the storm,” Viaan
“I will look after a dog and an octopus,” George
We see the children’s understanding of this big concept best through their play. The way they engage in grateful conversations with their peers, through to their actions of kindness with the animals and plants in our playground.
As kindness and gratitude becomes embedded into our program we can see benefits of gratitude with our youngest minds.
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette