Earlier this year, 8th grade students took the opportunity to learn about what it means to live a life of gratitude. The students had to step back and learn to recognize the blessings they have in their individual lives. Of course, it is easy for them to see the fancy things in life, maybe they recognized a recent gift, like an iphone or the next best gaming system. Some of them even saw the big picture of attending a caring school environment, or having a solid structure they could call home. But what about the things they take for granted like… a bed, running water, siblings, parents who are involved, teachers who care, and the SAVING GRACE of Jesus Christ. So the journey had to dig deeper.
We spent a full week working on projects, reading scripture, and gathering all of the knowledge about the blessings we are surrounded with each day. Our projects culminated with a timelapse, stop motion, or paper slide story expressing what it is the kids are so grateful for in their lives. The projects were impressive, but the lessons of gratitude prevailed. Students expressed gratitude for those things they did not actually recognize before. Like a parent who takes them to and from practices for their favorite extracurricular activity, their siblings that have helped to mold them to be the person they are today, their amazing God who loved them so much that he sent his only Son to die in their place for their salvation. Capping all of this off with two days of project share was tremendous.
In the near future we revisit this attitude of gratitude, and incorporate God’s Call in their lives. We assess spiritual gifts, and the students will learn the next step of how to live a gracious life with purpose. The purpose which God designed them to fulfill.
Mr. Harrison, Middle School Teacher