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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

November 20, 2006

A Letter of Thanks: Thanksgiving Activity

I tried this as a prayer exercise in all of my classes the day before Thanksgiving vacation. I duplicated on various colored sheets of paper the word Thanks. I would generally use a graphic or two, easily downloaded after googling “Thanksgiving graphics.” I asked the students to take one of colored sheets that they found appealing. I also gave each of them an envelope.

Then, I offered a spontaneous prayer of thanksgiving for all God’s blessings: for the gift of life, the gift of faith, the gift of Jesus and salvation, the gift of our families, the gifts of our intelligence and health, the gift of freedom, etc. I always included a prayer thanking the dear Lord for my students as well.

Next, I asked students to quietly think about a person for whom they were especially thankful and then invited them to write a personal letter briefly expressing their gratitude for the goodness of that person. Popular recipients included: a parent, a friend, a teacher, a coach, and a parish priest. After ten minutes of writing, I concluded the prayer session and then challenged the students to send their letter, or deliver it personally. (I would always volunteer to deliver their sealed envelopes to any of my colleagues who may have been fortunate enough to receive “a letter of thanks.”)

The students always seemed to appreciate this opportunity to say thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!


1 Anonymous

Nov. 20, 2006
Great activity! I am using it tomorrow!

2 Anonymous

Nov. 20, 2006
Great activity! I am using it tomorrow!

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