Thanksgiving is around the corner, and so thankfulness seemed a timely virtue to focus our attention on. We began memorizing:
Lucie was our mail carrier today (we have a rotating 'Helping Hands' chart)
She found our new 'thankfulness' gem. I had planned to have each child say something they were thankful for as the gem made it's way around the circle, but alas we were a little wild today and this didn't happen.
We read our weekly letter and 'My Book about Thankfulness' from the Radiant Hearts materials (a fantastic resource, if you haven't already explored it.)
Then we had a conversation about about how it is easy to be thankful when, say, it is your birthday and you are surrounded by presents and cake and friends. But Abdu'l-Baha is asking us to be thankful even in times of 'adversity.' And that is not easy at all. Whenever we are sad or frustrated or just in a bad mood, we can remember all the blessings in our lives.
Expressing gratitude for what we have lifts us up out of our negative emotions, just like a balloon. We pretended to be balloons, filling up our lungs as much as we could, and then letting it all out. And we learned this song, pretending we were balloons slowly filling up:
We used activity #10 from the Radiant Hearts 'thankfulness' lesson plan to talk about how challenges and difficulties in our lives are often a blessing to be thankful for. We discussed a series of cards that illustrated a scenario in which a child underwent something difficult that enabled them to achieve something greater (ie. learning to draw a circle led to having the capacity to write letters). Challenges help us grow and strengthen our spiritual muscles. The children made insightful comments and shared personal experiences they were reminded of in their own lives.
Eunice and Eliot performed a puppet show for us,
and we drew/wrote what we were thankful for inside thankfulness balloons during art. Each art project is done on scrapbook-sized paper, hole-punched, and compiled in an art book. This and the virtue journals come to class each week in canvas bags decorated with gems.
And here are the children eager to share their virtue journals.
I would love for you to share your favorite actions songs or games for children (Baha'i or not) in the comments! We are making a class list to draw upon when the wiggles set in.