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Chair Gratitude Discussion
The Importance of Group Discussion and Conversation
Early childhood classrooms are communities of learners. Group discussions and conversations help build a child’s sense of being and belonging to that community. They provide the base to share thoughts and ideas, listen and converse to each other, participate in new learning experiences, introduce new concepts, and collaborate with others.
In these kinds of discussions, children can express their thoughts, be exposed to the perspectives of others, learn social skills that are important for group participation, as well as encounter rich and diverse language and ideas that may be new to them. Both theory and research suggest that these back and forth verbal exchanges are critical for accelerating children's early language development.
Within a group discussion, members can
Safely test out ideas and thoughts that are not fully formed
Clarify, explore and build their knowledge and understanding
Build relationship bonds with others within the group through shared experience
Gain a greater understanding of the world and the way it works as well as their personal place within in.
You will need:
Story Book "Life Is Not Fair When You Are Just A Chair"
A comfortable place to sit as a group
Picture cards depicting items children around the world might not have
A whiteboard, chalkboard, Smartboard or clipboard to document children's ideas
Paper, textas and pencils
What to do
Read the book 'Life Is Not Fair When You Are Just a Chair'
Talk about the challenges and difficulties the chairs in the story experienced, but how the toilet had even more challenges. Highlight how everybody has things in their lives that can make it seem hard.
Ask the children to identify some of the things in their lives that make their lives challenging or that they don't like.
Ask the children to identify the things that make their lives good.
Show the children images of items that not every child has access to
clean drinking water
families that love them
education and schools
Ask the children 'What can we do to make the lives of other people better?'
Ask children to draw a picture of what they are grateful for in their lives- the things that make their lives 'good' or 'happy'.
If some of the suggestions that the children put forward are practical, such as drawing pictures for families, or donating books to charity, or maybe fundraising, follow this through.