So some of my penpals have asked me to write here about my Thanksgiving project that I did last year and have decided to do again this year. Last year, I was very close to the 8th grade class. In October of last year, it was obvious that many of the kids were struggling with anxiety and there was an incident that happened with one of our students that really affected a lot of kids. I knew that these kids really respected me and I knew that my words had power to heal and to show love. So, I decided to make a big tree in my room with a leaf for each student who sang for me. I painted/ printed/doodled, etc each leaf by hand. Then I wrote them all a sincere note on the back about why I appreciated them and my hopes for them. I hung them up in my room on a large "tree" (hey, it's the thought that counts right?). This is what it looked like. I think some people had already taken their leaf. (It was about 8 feet high and 8 feet wide.)
I called the kids to come up and get their leaf on the day before Thanksgiving. Many of my 8th graders were smart enough to know that each leaf was different and that each person had a note, which was also different. Thankfully, nobody (well... 2 girls- which out of a few hundred wasn't bad.) sat and compared notes.
About a month ago a little boy, who is now in 6th grade, told me that I am "the most considerate person he knows" because of this tree project. I was really humbled and since then many other students have commented about how they still have their leaves in their binders, their bedrooms or framed. I decided to do the project again this year.
I have been diligently making leaves and writing notes. I'm finished 5th-8th grade up to the Es. I have a long way to go. I'm hoping that at least 1 kid really needs to hear the words I write to them.
THANK YOU SARAH! I have been using a gelli print on the leaf cutouts you made me. When I put up the picture of this year's tree I want you to know that all the maple leaves are the ones you made me. Thank you!