Another feast has come and gone. We had perfect weather and delicious food, thanks to teachers, parents, and students. Hundreds of hungry, friendly families gathered to celebrate our Seed community. It was gratitude at its finest.
Each year our intention is to approach the Thanksgiving holiday with a genuine sense of gratitude. The challenge is also to make the word “gratitude” relevant to one-year-olds as well as 3rd and 4th graders. This year the teachers decided to keep track of the vocabulary they use to explain what gratitude means. We generally have each class create some sort of visual representation of what they’ve talked about and learned, which was shared during our gratitude circle prior to the feast. As expected, the vocabulary used to explain the meaning of gratitude is as varied as the classes that came up with the words. Their displays will be visible around the Seed in the coming days. Here’s the Seed’s vocabulary of gratitude for 2017:
• Toddler 1s, who love to eat, have been exploring sounds of appreciation. Their word was YUM, which is a universal sound of appreciation. They’re even learning the sign for delicious (close to yum!).
• Toddler 2s have been talking about what they love and FAMILY emerged as their word for gratitude. They made a collection of trees grouped together like a family.
• The Early 3s are experts at discussing LOVE. Check out their beautiful paper quilt hanging in the hallway outside their room. In addition to lovely items from nature, they drew pictures and said what they love.
• Preschool 3s are learning to say, “thank you.” They’ve discovered that telling someone thanks actually makes a person feel HAPPY, and happy is an emotion to which three-year-olds can relate.
• Preschool 4s read lots of books about what they can be grateful for, so they decided that they appreciate friends. Their representation is a sweet garland that spells out FRIENDS.
• PreK students started a few weeks ago creating a web of what they are THANKFUL for. With a beautiful sunflower in the middle, it has detailed layers that include family, pets, food, nature, home, friends, cousins, and kindness.
• Kindergarteners have been reading and learning about how friends and families come together to celebrate parts of their lives. They made a banner that spells out TOGETHERNESS.
• 1st and 2nd graders were fortunate to participate in a lesson from Calvin Schermerhorn, a history professor from ASU and dad of one of the second graders. He taught them about the Wampanoag tribe in Virginia. In the words of one of the first graders: “We made a poster that says ‘gather’ because for the first Thanksgiving the Wampanoag tribe and the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving because they gathered food and celebrated how they helped each other.” Another student added, “We chose the word GATHER because you gather food and with your family and friends for Thanksgiving.”
• The 3rd and 4th graders brainstormed words that are similar to gratitude. They came up with APPRECIATION, which has enough letters for each child in the class, plus their two teachers.
We hope this season brings you and your family your own expressions of this year’s Seed vocabulary of gratitude.