The Thankful Book: growing an attitude of gratitude

Thanksgiving is a natural time to focus in a bit on being thankful - having an attitude of gratitude.

That gratitude is something I like to feed, nurture and allow to flourish as part of our class culture.

We end our week with "thank yous". Everyone has a turn to say thank you for something.

A perfect book to start this tradition ...

The Thankful Book 
written  and illustrated by Todd Parr
published by Little, Brown and Co.  (2012)
juvenile non-fiction
suitable for ages 2 - 8 and  adult

themes  thankfulness, gratitude

opening lines 
Every day I try to think about the things that I am thankful for. 

The Thankful Book celebrates things that children can be thankful for
the everyday things  -- friends, pets, spending time with a parent
more conceptual things -- music, colour
the ridiculous -- wearing underwear on your head

I like this book because ... 
Todd Parr manages to make complex ideals kid friendly.  He makes thankfulness a concept that can be understood by a young child, and at the same time expands our ideas about what to be thankful for. The only "thing" that is mentioned to be thankful for is underwear.  My favourite it: I am thankful for the library because it is filled with endless adventures.  

resources ...
Back to how we close the school week.

At the end of the day on Friday, after we have filled all the backpacks, tidied  the scraps of paper into the recycle bin, and collected all the stray pieces of lego, we sit down on the carpet in a circle.  Each person in turn plays the drum, rings the bell or turns the rains stick, and says what they are thankful for.


The kidlets are reminded to be respectful, to look at and listen to the person who has the drum/bell/rainstick.  

We have one rule - if the kidlets want to say they are thankful for their friends, we do not name people (don't want this to turn into a popularity contest).

I have never had to tell the kidlets not to be thankful for a long list of toys (don't want thank yous to turn into a brag session either).  They seem to get  that we are expressing thanks for things that touch our hearts. 

It's a great way to end the week.  I fall in love with my kidlets all over again.


  1. Beautiful idea. I have a 'magic' glitter wand the speaker holds, but I think I need to dust off the rainstick for Friday afternoons. Thank you.

  2. I love this idea. We hold hands and have a moment of silence before snack each day. I tell the kids "to think inside their own brains of something that makes them happy and that they are thankful for." After about 20-30 seconds I say "Give a gentle squeeze and enjoy your snack." The kids always spontaneously blurt out what they were thinking about. It is often Mommy, our class, classmates (often by name), special trips, me...I love how easily gratitude comes to children.
    Mrs. Goff's Pre-K Tales

  3. Being thankful is always a good thing, Sandi, no matter what your age. Thanks for sharing your book on PPBF!!


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