It comes as no surprise that during the holidays gratitude is on everyone’s mind. There are many ways to express gratitude and this year our family decided to try a new one, a family gratitude journal. In years past I have had first grade students create individual gratitude journals, so using a similar process our family sat down to create our own collaborative version.
- Gratitude Web Printable
- Journal (we used a blank sketch book with heavy duty paper in case anyone wanted to paint but you could also use a lined book, or even smaller individual journals)
- Writing and drawing supplies (we put out watercolors, oil pastels, colored pencils, and thin markers but you could take this in many directions. How much fun would printed pictures of family members and other collage materials be?)
We began by having each family member (over the age of 2) create a gratitude web. This pre-writing, or brainstorming, phase of the writing process allowed our oldest child, who is seven, to have a cache of ideas for her entries and she could therefore independently work on the journal as the mood struck her.
Then we created a cover for our book. We used this process from Tinkerlab.
The book, webs, and materials then became the focus of our writing center and the older members of the family, mom, dad, and seven-year-old, were free to add entries to the book as they were inspired to do so.
Our almost 2 year old created a page while working with me. She drew and I took dictation.
We hope to use the journal year after year so we recorded the children’s ages and the year with each entry and we are looking forward to see how their ideas of gratitude change and grow as they do the same.
Does your family document the things you are grateful for? If so, how?
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