Each year it is wise to incorporate lessons that can involve family and community members. Grandparents Day is a great opportunity for a student to acknowledge the impact a grandparent has had on his / her personal development. It is a great activity to use in a Psychology class, however it also can be used with U.S. History too.
To make a connection with US History, introduce the students to the branches of government and how a bill becomes a law with a School House Rock Video: “I’m Just a Bill.”
Grandparents are very special people. They often shower grandchildren with gifts, ice cream, baseball games, movies, special days, and lots of love. They are often loved unconditionally by a grandchild and can be one of the most important influences on many of our lives.
Each of us has different experiences with grandparents. Some live with us, some live hundreds of miles away. Some have passed before we have memories of them. Some passed with a few memories. Some lucky students may have all grandparents alive and well. Hopefully, all of us have some great memories of grandparents.
Complete the assignments in the following order.
1. Grandparent Chart (3-5 minutes) – This will be completed during the 1st day of class. The purpose of the chart is for you to have a brief visual of your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. (If you need help, seek another family member)
2. Memories (20 minutes): Compile a list of memories of anything and everything you can think about your grandparents. You may want to create a page for each grandparent (i.e. Nana / Grandpa) or create a list for one set of grandparents. Think of vacations, babysitting, foods, cars, houses – classes have spent an entire period creating these lists, the more memories, the better.
3. Grandparent letter (20 minutes): You will compose a letter to a living grandparent. You can combine a letter to a set of grandparents. The goal of the letter is to create a tangible concrete example of your love and appreciation. Done correctly and sincerely, this letter will bring a smile or possible move a person to tears. The very least it should be an object that will be treasured and valued for the rest of a grandparent’s life. (This can be handwritten.)
Unique Situations / Lesson Modifications
What if I do not have any memories of grandparents? This might be a great opportunity to share this activity with a relative (a parent, aunt, or uncle) who does have memories of the person. You could encourage them to write down memories or simply have them share some of their memories orally.
What if I do not have any living grandparents, but I have memories?
This is a great opportunity for you to write down all the great memories that you have. You also could share the activity with other family members to have them share their memories too. These memories you could share with the next generation of your family, perhaps your sons or daughters.
What if I have no grandparents and no memories? This activity is all about making connections between generations. You can substitute other relatives if you cannot connect with grandparents, you can choose another relative.