Every spring, on the Friday before Mother's Day, our class has a Mother's Day Tribute. This was introduced to our school ten years ago by another first grade teacher, and then embraced by us all. (Thank you Miss Wayland!)
In mid-April we begin writing rough drafts titled: "My mom is special to me because..."
I tell the children to think about all the things that make their mom very special. We talk about "writing from your heart."
Slowly the words begin to trickle, then flow onto their papers. Each child has a unique perspective, and they personalize their tribute so beautifully: "When my mom hugs me, I can feel the love rush through her hug." I love her no matter where I am." "Her voice sounds like birds chirping." "I appreciate how hard she works for our family." "I am always proud of her."
Once their writing is complete, the children begin to practice reading their tribute on a small microphone and speaker system. After many practices they are ready to show their mom how much she is loved.
The moms assemble in our class on Friday morning at 9:00 am, not quite knowing what to expect. When the first child begins to read their tribute, every mother in the class has tears in her eyes, including me!
Each child reads their tribute, than delivers a small flower to their mom. They are greeted with hugs and kisses from moms who are amazed that their first grade child can write and speak so well.
I wanted to share this story because so often we don't give young children the credit they deserve. During this writing process my students worked hard to write beautiful, heartfelt words. They overcame their shyness and had their first experience with public speaking.
But most importantly, they learned that the written word has the power to positively impact another's life.