I Am Thankful: teaching resources
First of all, we are so THANKFUL that you are going to teach this song to your children! We know they will pick up on the song quickly because of the strong imagery, action-based language, and memorable melody. It's an instant classic!
COLORED VISUALS & COLORING BOOK
My sweet neighbor, Emily, (who is 14 years old!) is a fabulous artist. She created visuals and coloring pages to go with my son's baptism song, and she made the most adorable visuals and coloring pages to go with this one too! You can download the coloring book for free. The visuals are a couple of dollars to cover my cost.
This activity is as easy as it gets. Simply print the out and have the children put them in order as you sing. I like to teach one verse at a time, but you could use them all together for review.
Draw the outline of a tree trunk and branches on the chalkboard. Bring cut-outs of fall leaves in oranges, yellows, greens, and browns. As the children listen to the song over and over again, have them write down or draw things they are grateful for. When they are finished, they can attach their leaves to the tree.
Why do I like this activity?
Music is a great tool for memorization, but studies show that this only works with melodies that are familiar to us. Before they even start focusing on the words, they must first become acquainted with the melody. This activity helps them hear the song over and over again while their minds are engaged, allowing the song to slip in through the back door.
Here's a link to a video that uses ASL signs for key words: https://youtu.be/vpc28JfVrq8