Giving and Gratitude: The Holiday Lessons that Last All Year Long

Flipping the Script from “What Can I Get” to “What Can I Give”

Helping your students find the joy and importance of giving doesn’t have to be complicated or labor-intensive. In fact, if you have incorporated some of the suggestions from our previous blog on gratitude, you’re well on your way. It’s important for students to understand that the act of giving doesn’t have to involve spending money or buying things. Gifts of time, caring and those made with love by hand are just as important and valuable. Here are a few other things you can do to help your students find the joy of giving.

  • Read books about giving – Choose read-alouds that highlight giving and gratitude. Give students opportunities to provide ideas for giving that could become projects for your classroom. 
  • Holiday cards and thank-you notes –  This is the perfect time to share gratitude and spread cheer to those on your campus and in your community. Set aside a few minutes every day for students to make cards and write to people on campus like the custodians, cafeteria workers, etc., The possibilities are endless and this could be an activity for students of all ages.
  • Adopt a senior citizen group – Provide craft materials for students to make decorations or small gifts for them. It could be fun to video students singing Christmas songs to share with them. Get pictures of seniors so the students can see some of the people whose lives they are brightening. This connection could extend well beyond the holidays. 
  • Show appreciation for First Responders – Show appreciation for those who serve and protect. If you can have access to an oven, you could prepare and bake cookies for the local fire station. Measuring and following directions are important lessons. If that isn’t possible, perhaps you could get a couple of parent volunteers to bring in some treats so that students can pack up and write notes. Invite a firefighter or two to the classroom to pick up the treats.

These are just a few ways that you can help create a giving community. The seeds you plant during this holiday season can grow and flourish for years to come. Studies have even shown that those who are generous with their time, who think of others and share gratitude live longer happier lives.

Destination Knowledge Gives Back

Here at Destination Knowledge, we believe that it’s important to support our communities and the students we serve. The Covid-19 pandemic has created many challenges and changes to health and safety protocols in schools. One such change was that students in Manatee County School District were no longer allowed to share headphones when working individually on computers. Headphones ensure that students are able to hear clearly and focus on their work without outside distractions and background noise. School budgets were stretched to the limit and there were simply no funds available to provide every student with headphones. We decided to help and created Project Hear It! With the help of individuals and corporations, we are working to raise funds to provide headphones for every student in the district.


The Giving Classroom: Promoting Generosity and Gratitude. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

Teaching Children Generosity: Getting and Giving During the Holidays. Retrieved December 1, 2021, from

Teia Hoover Baker is an educator, published author, and entrepreneur. She is an innovative, devoted educator whose career has been dedicated to coordinating programs that support struggling learners. Her passion is meeting students where they are and guiding them to excel. Her main focus is always what is best for children. Teia holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s of Education. In her spare time, she enjoys being Lovie to her growing grandchildren.

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