Teaching Being Thankful

Working on abstract concepts such as being thankful is SO challenging for our kiddos because of their language deficits. A diagnostic criteria of autism is a language delay. Language is HARD for our kids. So explaining something in terms of language goes right over their heads sometimes. The key to learning new vocabulary is through associations and categorizing. If you think about it – thats how we organize our whole life. Everything is in compartments – things we don’t like, people who are funny, clothes, places we have been to. Our whole life is categorizing. It is how make inferences, assumptions, and generalizations. So when learning tricky concepts it is essential to practice TONS of examples so are kids can start to see the pattern of the associations.

I even had to go way down to the basics with one guy and work on what makes us happy vs. what makes us sad.

Spend some time on this. Practice a few times a week. Make loads of lists and continuously prompt your students to add their own novel ideas. It will get there. It’s all about repetition and teaching the associations.

Onto the craft. After talking at length about ‘thankful’ each student picked one thing they are thankful for and we wrote it on this sheet. I photocopied it so it was black and white. The students also colored the picture. Download here: Thankful For.

Then we mounted the pages on a large sheet of construction paper and filled the border with fake leaves. Turned out super cute 🙂

Looked cute in the hallway:


  1. Thanks for the printable! I’m going to use this tomorrow in my room. It fits right in with our discussion of being respectful to each other!

  2. Nice!


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