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The Gift of Words
By: Third Grade Teachers Lynn Frankenberger and Kristie Kerber
The “Gift of Words” project is one of our favorite third grade writing projects. We began by reading the book Be Good to Eddie Lee, which is about a boy who has down syndrome and how he was not treated kindly by his peers. We held a classroom discussion about how we should treat each other with kindness and how everyone has different gifts that shine. We then shared with one another the amazing gifts that all of us have (e.g. some of us are good at climbing trees, drawing, doing math, being empathetic with others, being helpful, reading, kicking a ball, telling jokes, turning a negative into a positive, etc).
After this discussion, each student randomly chose a classmate’s name from a hat. The students spent the next couple of days observing one another and brainstorming with their parents. Our goal was for them to be intentional and sincere in what they wrote about each other.
Once they gathered their information, their assignment was to write about three unique qualities that their classmate possesses and how he or she demonstrate these gifts. Some examples are:
“Her light shines brighter than the sun on a hot summer day in July.”
“Her best gift of all is that she does not leave people out.”
“My favorite gift about this person is that he is very creative.”
“It’s easy to see how he is caring towards others.”
“I am happy that I get to share my time at Rossman with her. She is such a gift to our class.”
“She truly shines brighter than 1 million rays of sunshine.”
“One of his best qualities is that he always gives a helping hand.”
After the students completed their writing, they typed, printed and adhered it to a canvas. They then decorated the canvas with thoughtful stickers, jewels and ribbons based what they felt that classmate would like. Lastly, they wrapped up the gift in a gift box with wrapping paper and a bow. On the day before winter break, the students exchanged their gifts with one another. It gave us goosebumps to see how much they appreciated the beautiful gift of words that were written about them.
Be sure to stop by the bulletin board outside the third grade classroom to read all about the unique gifts that our third graders possess.
Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in Creve Coeur, is an independent private preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills. Request a free Rossman School brochure here.