Expressing Gratitude at Thanksgiving: A Speech-Language Activity for Children

November 21, 2016

Many families take the time to verbally express their words of gratitude when gathered together to celebrate Thanksgiving. This is a wonderful tradition that can help us feel happier as we focus on all the good things in our lives. In addition, it can be useful as a speech and language activity any time.

April Castoldl with beloved Green Chimney’s pony Dixie

Expressing appreciation for things can be as simple as saying “I like dessert!” or “Thanksgiving is fun!” Naming things we like in a sentence is usually simple. However, it can be a healthy challenge to ask young children with expressive language difficulties to formulate a longer sentence that talks about events or actions. For example, a child could be encouraged to start with “I’m thankful for…” and then talk about a special activity, like “visiting Grandma’s house and seeing my cousins.” Or a sentence could start with, “I like Thanksgiving because…”

These examples stretch what might be a simple sentence (“I like Thanksgiving”) to a complex sentence with multiple verbs, and often conjunctions like “because.” If saying longer sentences already comes easily to a child, then the next step might be to work on including longer sentences with conjunctions in their writing.

Here’s one more example:

I am thankful for my job at Green Chimneys, because I work in a beautiful setting with great coworkers, and I can make a difference in the lives of some amazing children.

Green Chimneys School offers on-site clinical services and therapeutic support from expert staff who help children with special needs develop a sense of understanding and individual uniqueness, as they gain the ability to apply what they learn at Green Chimneys to daily life. Speech-language intervention addresses the student’s ability to comprehend the information being delivered in the classroom, effectively communicate knowledge gained, and be understood by others. Learn more about the services we provide students

By April Castoldi, MS, CCC-SLP, TSHH, Green Chimneys Speech Language Pathologist