Each year, the Lower School chooses a theme that is woven throughout the academic, athletic, and arts curriculum. This year’s theme,“Gratitude,” was introduced during an all-school assembly in the shade of the Dart Family Pavilion.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John F. Kennedy
The students were introduced to the concept of gratitude through the reading and dramatic reenactment–by Mrs. Pitts and Mrs. Prete–of Mary Nhin’s “Grateful Ninja,” a story about cultivating an attitude of gratitude. After the assembly, students returned to class to learn how finding moments of gratitude throughout our lives can make us happier, healthier, and more positive people.
Students discussed what they were grateful for and ways they could express gratitude in their own lives. Like the Grateful Ninja, they decided that “The 5 Gs”: Grow our thank-yous and pleases; Gift ourselves a gratitude jar; Give gratitude at the dinner table and before bedtime; Get a gratitude journal; and, Go on a gratitude nature walk–were items they could focus on.
Classes were eager to incorporate the concepts of gratitude into their school day. From Pre-K to fifth grade, every ODA student has already begun identifying and recognizing people and actions to be grateful for.
To thank our facilities team and acknowledge their dedication to keeping our classrooms and campus in tip-top shape, Mrs. Robins’s and Mr. Babich’s Pre-K students created hand-made cards for Mr. Mayden, Mr. Munoz, and Ms. Mari to show their appreciation.
In MITT, Mrs. Miller’s students will study books to identify different ways characters show gratitude throughout stories. Once it is modeled in class, students will be encouraged to be on the lookout for characters demonstrating gratitude any time they are reading. They will be able to share their discoveries on a collaborative "Gratitude in Books" display.
All ODA students are making Gratitude Flowers in art class. Each petal of the students' flower has pictures and words that describe something for which they are grateful. Ms. Gabrici has begun to display these in the art room windows as a "Garden of Gratitude."
Each broadcast of the WODA Thunder News (produced by the 5th grade broadcasting class,) will feature a gratitude segment.
Throughout this year, Lower School teachers will build upon their class’s understanding of gratitude. With our students already beginning to recognize the importance of appreciating and focusing on what they have rather than what they are lacking, we are excited to watch the evolution of this year’s theme!