November is a great chance time to teach children about gratitude. Even toddlers can learn to appreciate their blessings. A great place to start is teaching young children to be thankful for their body. You could easily break this topic into smaller lessons (my hands, my eyes, etc.) but this is a simple lesson generally about the body.
Introduction: "Today we're going to talk about our bodies and all the things they can do." Read book, "From Head to Toe" by Eric Carle.
Our bodies do many things and each of our body parts has a different job. What can you do with your hands? What can you do with your feet? What can you do with your eyes? What can you do with your mouth?
While listening to music, ask children to move their body around and see all the ways they can move. Point out that they are able to move and play because of their body. I am thankful for my body because I can clap my hands. Why are you thankful for your body? Whisper to your neighbor why you are thankful for your body.
Activity: “I Can Move So Many Ways” Song (tune: “London Bridge is Falling Down”).
(From sample Joy School lesson)
Teacher and children walk around in a circle singing:
I can move so many ways, many ways, many ways,
I can move so many ways ‘round the circle.
I can walk on tippy-toes, tippy-toes, tippy-toes.
I can walk on tippy-toes, ‘round the circle.
Have the children suggest other ways and sing them as you do them. Some suggestions are:
Walk with backward steps.
Move with skipping steps.
Walk so straight and stiff.
Crawl on hands and knees.
Move with sliding steps.
Move with jumping feet.
Move with hopping feet.
Fly like an air-o-plane.
Move with stomping feet.
Walk with giant steps.
Walk so very slow (or fast).
Walk with toes turned in (or out).
Walk just on my heels.
Gather children together. I'm going to draw a body. I'm going to start with the head. What should I draw next to the head? Draw a simple body. Show different ways to draw eyes, nose, hair, etc.
Have each child draw their own body. They can draw on a blank paper or use a body outline like this one.
Conclusion: Because of our bodies we can do many fun things like run and jump and laugh and play. I am thankful for my body.
– My Body Mini Book
– Fun body songs from Brite Music ("See Me Run," "Marching Feet")
– Have snacks cut into the shape of bodies with gingerbread man cookie cutters
– More Songs: Do As I'm Doing, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Hinges
– Body activites: balance on one foot, blow a feather, roll a ball, toss a bean bag, jump up and down