Sunday, February 22, 2015

100 Reasons to be Thankful

Celebrating with Gratitude
by Amy LV

Students - This week, my friend, second grade teacher Sheila Cocilova, and I have been talking about writing occasion poems.  She has been writing poems about Dr. Seuss, and I have been thinking about the fullness of February. The other week, a wise friend (Who were you?  I forgot!) told me that someone should write a poem for February, a month stuffed with special days, or August, a month with almost none. Writing back and forth with Sheila reminded me that the 100th day of school is near now, and her work on those Dr. Seuss poems inspired me to try writing an occasion poem too.

It can be wonderful to get an idea from a friend!  On a day when you're not sure what to write, why not just walk around and look at what everyone else has been writing?  Perhaps all friends could just put out their folders or notebooks and folks could walk around quietly, reading what each writer has placed on top to share. Allow each of these offerings to invite you into a new writing idea you might not have planned on your own.  Today I have Sheila to thank for mine.  Thank you, Sheila!

And thank you as well to Tarak McLain.  Several years ago, I heard Tarak's voice sharing thirty of one hundred of his important beliefs on a This I Believe npr program.  His voice and thoughtfulness have helped me and have helped many students of all ages find ideas for their own opinion writing.

Today's small verse, as you have likely figured out, is a simple list poem.  And a thankful list is something you can keep yourself.  Science shows that people who write down and think about what they are thankful for are happier people?  This makes sense, don't you think?  You can keep a poster of things and moments to be thankful for with your classmates or you can keep your own gratitude journal like my friend Catie does.  I once knew a teacher and class of students who kept gratitude journals as part of their writers notebooks.  There are many ways to be thankful on this beautiful planet.

Here's an invitation!  I hereby invite any class that begins a 100 Reasons Celebration List to share it here.  Teachers - Please just send me an e-mail to with your photograph, and I will add your picture (the year doesn't matter...these posts come back each year in varioius ways) to the bottom of today's post. 

Here is a thankful list written by Librarian Gretchen Seibert's students at Edison Elementary in Tonawanda, NY.

Edison Students' Gratitude List 2015
Photo by Amy LV

Gratitude List by Edison Students 2015 - Close Up
Photo by Amy LV

I am thankful to have made so many friends here at The Poem Farm.  Thank YOU!

Speaking of gratitude, if you haven't yet seen Olga McLaren's Grandmother Journals over at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, don't miss them.  They're something else.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. Good morning, Amy!

    Our 100th Day was on Feb. 5, and we've been working on a book of 100 Jobs because that's our SocStuds curriculum, but I reckon gratitude should be part of the Soc Studs curriculum too!

    You've given me a good idea...want to collaborate on a book of little poems for 100 Days of Kindergarten? It's a huge deal in schools and there are still lots of teachers who, despite curricula that seem to think that we teach in a vacuum, acknowledge all those special days (some in ways that make sense and some in ways that don't--but they would all be interested in that kind of book!).

    Bet you know who we could pitch that to...

    P.S. I am grateful for you!

  2. Amy,
    I reblogged this one! Loved it! Thanks!

  3. Amy, My students and I got a kick out of reading this together today! Thank you for sharing-it led to great discussion on how we can learn and get new ideas from each other. We started our list today and will send it along when it is finished. I am grateful for your friendship and encouragement!