This month I would like to reflect on all the things that I am grateful for. Of course family and friends are at the top of my list but I also wanted to think about all the things that I truly appreciate and sometimes take for granted. When I was searching for inspiration on Pinterest, as one does, I came across some great lesson ideas for sharing this process with students that I included in my Art Therapy board under Mindfulness.
Activities for Gratitude
The first activity I wanted to share from the Mindful Creative Muse, is Gratitude Feathers and Collaborative Art Projects. This is a great activity to do with any age group. I created a lesson with my KG students when we were doing our PYP STP Unit on sharing our environments with animals. We started off by reading Feathers for Lunch by Lois Elhert and then observed different types of feathers and practiced cutting zigzag lines into painted papers we had previously created.
We practiced painting feathers by using the tips of our brushes and gently tickling the paper. (Great opportunity to link being kind to one another and taking care of our brushes.) After the feathers have dried students can then add their gratitude message or the teacher can help to annotate it (this could be a fantastic opportunity for a collaborative project). We also listened to the Texture Song by Scratch Garden to drive home the concept of texture. They love this. For older students they can either draw from observation or from photo sources different bird feathers.
- Paper Trail Design has a free printable download.
- Cassie Stephens also has a lesson called a Tiny Gallery of Gratitude.
My 30 Days of Gratitude
As I was planning this blog post I created my own 30 Days of Gratitude. Here is a template if you would like to make your own. This is perfect for journaling and sketching. I’m working on a photo reel of all the things I’m grateful for. I’ve saved it to my favorites and also added a sticker for me to see on a regular basis.
Other Cultures celebrate Thanks
When I first moved overseas I would sometimes hear people from the USA in bewilderment over other countries not celebrating Thanksgiving as the United States does. I have had the opportunity to visit over 35 countries, some more than once, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the people and cultures that I would like to learn about.
A few years ago, my Grade 1 students were doing a yearlong HWEO PYP UOI, where they were recognizing important events through celebrations and traditions. We discussed birthdays and card giving, giving thanks, food and how to be a toymaker. As it happened the giving thanks portion of the unit took place in November. We discusses Thanksgiving in the USA and how other countries celebrate giving thanks and afterwards I created a this presentation to share with students. I found 5 countries who celebrate giving thanks, somehow I left off Canada’s on the second Monday of October. Sorry aboot that to my Canadian friends. 😉
Thank You to ALL the Artists
The reason that I continue to be a learner and love learning is because of art and without the Artists there wouldn’t be any. A while back I was looking for a calendar of artist’s birthdays and found the one here on Daily Art Fixx .com. It is quite and extensive list with artists birthdays across the entire year. As I went through each artist for the month of November, I made a note of why I was thankful for this artists in particular and also added a link and category of either the style or media they work in. I found that there were not many contemporary artists, only a few women and most of the artists were early Western artists.
Towards the end of looking at all those artists I looked for other sources to add to the list and make it more diverse and found the Smithsonian American Art Museum where you can look up the artists by birthday. Just plug in any birthday and found a few interesting ones born on my own birthday. Fun!
Next week I will be sharing my favorite children’s books on gratitude. Until then I hope
You are Having Fun and Being Creative!
About the blog
Looks Crayons is an Art Education blog focused on Art Integration, Project and Choice based art.
I’d love to hear from you. Reach out if you’re interested in chatting about Art Education.
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