The late 26th President of the United States of America, Theodore Roosevelt once said, “To educate a person in mind and not morals is to educate a menace to society”.
Education is more than the acquisition of academic knowledge – it includes skills, habits, beliefs and life values. Life values are characteristics and behaviours that serve to motivate and guide our decisions, and it is never too early for your child to learn about them. With a solid moral foundation, children grow up to be kind and responsible individuals who look after other members of society.
Let’s take a look at the daily routines and classroom activities organised by teachers at MindChamps PreSchool @ Mapletree Business City that revolve around the life value of gratefulness according to class levels.
How MindChamps PreSchool @ Mapletree Business City, a childcare centre and preschool in Pasir Panjang, inculcates gratefulness in children
Playgroup Activity: Thank You Walk
To introduce the MindChamps value of “I am Grateful”, teachers read “A Thank You Walk” by Nancy Loewen, a book that showcased the various ways of thanking animals and insects. During morning walks, the children were asked to slow down and look closely at the environment around them to observe elements of nature.
Children smelled the fresh morning air, touched fallen leaves and flowers, watched the koi fish swimming in the pond, spotted chameleons, butterflies and bees, and felt the warm sunshine on their bodies. They learned from their teachers how to express their gratitude as well as the different ways of saying “Thank You”.
Nursery Activity: Appreciating Food
The children discussed the importance of food in the classroom where they learned about how farmers plant rice. They exemplified gratefulness for having enough food to eat by finishing up all their food.
Before receiving the food, they thanked their teachers for serving their meals and their parents for ensuring that there was food on the table daily.
Kindergarten 1 Activities
The Book of Gratitude
Firstly, the children listened to the book ‘I Am Thankful’ written by Todd Parr. Next, they took turns to share with their classmates what they were grateful for. These included “I’m grateful for my teachers in school”, “I’m grateful because I can play in the playground” and “I am grateful for all the things that I have”.
Then, they put down their thoughts on gratefulness on paper, embellishing them with paper-cut outs, sequins and other art materials. The pages were bound into a class book named ‘The Book of Gratitude’.
Tree of Gratitude
As a follow-up activity to the book ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein, the children shared with their friends what they are grateful for in their lives. The children wrote their thoughts onto coloured leaves which were attached to a ‘Tree of Gratitude’ that was put up in the classroom.
Apart from encouraging the children to be grateful on a daily basis, the tree serves as a place where children can add on more notes on gratefulness.
Kindergarten 2 Activity: Grateful Jar
The children took turns to share about being thankful to the people around them and wrote the things they were grateful for on little slips of paper. These slips of paper were then collected in a ‘Grateful Jar’.
One of the notes read, “I’m thankful for my auntie because she made my mom and dad’s job easier at home. She will cook food for us and takes care of me”.
Through such activities, children attending MindChamps PreSchool @ Mapletree Business City can have a better understanding of what gratefulness means and how they can exemplify this value in their daily life. These values instilled in them from a young age will certainly help them to develop into confident yet compassionate individuals, ready to tackle the challenges of the world.
Written by Jamie Koh