Last year I asked Gracen what she was thankful for, and her answers melted my heart. This year, I decided it would be fun to make a visual representation of her responses so that we could revisit and reflect upon them throughout the weekend.
A thankful tree is something I’ve actually done in my classroom many times before. We start the project out as a group with a read aloud, a discussion, and everyone contributing a few leaves, and then throughout the week the students are free to add leaves as they are reminded of things they’re grateful for. It’s always turned out to be a gorgeous project that serves as a wonderful reminder of just how much we all have to be thankful for. Our smaller at home version was no different. We’ve revisited it many times and added things as Miss G has requested to and the entire project, start to finish, was a lot of fun.
It started a week or so ago in our courtyard with a stack of coffee filters, some watered down food colouring (we used approximately 3 tablespoons of water for 10 drops of colouring), some droppers, and an old piece of cardboard as a work surface.
Using a stack of 2 or 3 at a time, Grae squeezed our homemade watercolours out onto the filters and watched the colours run and mix to create gorgeous colour combinations and patterns. Here in the October heat, they dried so quickly that I was able to cut them into very simple leaf shapes as she continued painting more filters.
Throughout the week, we talked about things we were both thankful for and I recorded one idea on each leaf.
Some of the things she felt happy to have were really eye opening. While I do appreciate the construction across the street from our building for the entertainment / education if provides Miss G, often times it just seems like a whole lot of extra noise, dust, and traffic. Well, Gracen doesn’t agree. She said she’s happy to have it because “it’s really cool and we get to watch all of the cool stuff happen like big trucks and cranes and cement coming”.
When we were ready to assemble our tree of thanks, I sketched an outline of a leafless tree onto an Ikea flatpack I had tucked away. Brad cut it out and we hung it in our main room using painter’s tape rolls.