Psychology Lesson: Grandparent Appreciation Day

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One major goal of the Grandparents’ Day activities (these can be completed at any point during the year) is to strengthen relationships between the grandparents and the students.

With this activity, the grandparents are asked to provide me (the teacher) with some feedback. It is important to receive feedback from the grandparents for a few reasons. First, it is a great way to introduce the activity the following year. Before completing the activity, the students can see the impact the assignment has had on people. Second, it allows for me to know who actually gave a great effort.

Below is the note I include with the memories and letters.

HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!

You have been chosen for this activity because you have created and shared so many great memories for a student in my class. You have made a BIG DIFFERENCE in someone’s life and they will never forget this or you. THANK YOU!

The class is very interested in your feedback. Could you please share your thoughts on our activities and what it was like to receive the letter. Email YOUR NAME (teacher) at youremail@yourschool.org or send a note to:

Your Name (teacher)

Your School School

Street address

Town, State zip code

Here are the responses first 5 responses I received. I did not include any of the students’ names.

Response #1

“What a lovely surprise to receive my letter along with the memories of  ”Me and You” my granddaughter sent me…I have rarely received any card or letter to acknowledge this day and am very impressed with your thoughtfulness in making this a class project. It will be kept in my “treasure box” of cards and letters.

It was great fun to read her memories…I had forgotten one SHE remembered!!!  She is a wonderfully loving and happy granddaughter (and our first girl after 4 sons, 4 grandsons and 2 step grandsons, so she was special from the day she was born).

I am delighted our granddaughter will have the experience of your teaching skills and getting to know you. I have fond memories of my years working at Hanover High School…glad you are still there to make a difference in our grandchildren’s lives.

Best wishes for a fun and successful school year.”

Response #2

“What a pleasant surprise to open a letter that my grandson composed.

It was refreshing to know that he has fond memories of his Great Grandparents, swimming and boating on their property, and dinners with his great grandfather. He mentioned mystery rides to Southie, food from the Sullivan’s, and Ed Amaral’s favorite dessert, congo bars.

My hope is that years from now he will share those memories with generations of family to come. Thank you for prompting my grandson to compose warm and fuzzy letters to grandparents. Keep it coming!”

Response #3

“I loved the note from our granddaughter! So many memories I have of her and all the other grandchildren!

It brought back memories of taking them up to our camp in New Hampshire and the fun we had up there with no parents. We got to do things that kids like to do and especially not having to “hurry up” to do anything.  I enjoyed the part about “trying everything” at camp….they always had to take a bite of all food served…then if they didn’t like it, they didn’t have to eat it, but it had to be tried…It’s funny she still remembers that.

Families are important, and I’d like to think that we were a good influence on our grandchildren’s lives.  I know she was on ours!”

Sincerely,

Grandparents of a wonderful granddaughter”

Response #4

“Let me commend you on such an admirable assignment.

Our Granddaughter’s letter is something we will always treasure. It is something that we can scan into the computer, and pull up on a dreary day to remind ourselves that we are indeed the kind of grandparents that we hoped to be. There is nothing more important than to know you are truly loved. Her memories spoke of the time spent with us, not the material things we have given her, demonstrating that her values and love of family are the things most important to her. It has been a great privilege to share her life so far and we will miss her very much when she goes off to college. But now we have this wonderful letter and our own memories of her to keep in our hearts.

Nina & Grandpa”

Response #5

“I would like to thank you for the letter writing activity you gave your class.

What a surprise and a pleasure it was to receive a letter from my granddaughter! Her letter to me brought back so many memories. In our busy lives, it is so nice to realize how much something means to someone else. Reading her letter and having her share her memories of the two of us brought a smile to my face.

Thank you again. I am so proud of her and am happy to be included in a special part of her school day”

Response #6

“I am responding for my parents because, they don’t know how to email and asked me to relay this note to you for them. Sorry it is late we weren’t able to get the letter to them until last Friday.

They responded as follows:

Our [Grandchild],

Thank you for sharing your memories of some of your times with us. Please know you have given us some of our Golden Memories.  We’re very proud of our 16 grandchildren.

Love you too much, Princess!

Always,

Nana and Papa”

P.S. Mr. Molloy, Thank you and good job! It meant a lot to us.

Response #7

“Thank you very much for having this type of activity as part of your class. If the other grandparents received the same type of letter that I have received from my granddaughter they must be as proud as I am. I have always tried to make her visits to Florida memorable and for her to put into writing the little things she remembers, well it was just beautiful! Family time with my grandchildren is very important to me. Since we live in Florida and only get to see them once or twice a year if we are lucky, it is essential to make our time together outstanding. My grandmother was a very important person in my life. I have always wanted to be remembered by my grandchildren as I remember my grandmother, with love and fond memories of the time I spent with her.

To have my granddaughter put in writing these memories from the past gives me great pleasure. I now know without a doubt that I will be remembered by all my grandchildren in the way I wish to be remembered. Needless to say this letter is one of my most prized possessions!

Again Thank You!

A Very Proud Mimi”

Response #8

“I don’t have e-mail, but had to respond. What a wonderful idea! It was such a good feeling reading the letter from out granddaughter recalling warm memories, and in effect provoking warm memories of my own. Kudos on a great idea!”

Response #9

“I was very pleased to receive the letter from our granddaughter on Grandparents’ Day. What a nice surprise! A handwritten letter from my granddaughter will be cherished forever – I didn’t realize she remembered all the fun and funny activities that she wrote about, but then she is a very caring person 9not that I am biased). Great project – I’m sure all the other grandparents are as happy as I am to receive a letter from their grandchild – great idea all around!”

Response #10

It is my pleasure to say thank you for instilling in our granddaughter the treasured thoughts about me. I will always be grateful to have a wonderful and caring granddaughter like her. Our time together was special and we always enjoyed talking about schoolwork, family, and friends.

The letter received was such a wonderful thought on your part as a teacher. I will always remember the letter and the wonderful memories she and I had together, especially out piano days.”

Response #11

“I was very impressed and pleased by my granddaughter’s letter to me with all the memories that were made as she was growing into the beautiful young lady that she is today. I am very proud of her. I think it was a nice activity as it reminds of us of times gone by.”

I am glad that many of the the grandparents and students had a positive experience with this activity.

After I read the letter, I photocopy it for the future, then give the original to the student who wrote the letter and memories.

Next year I will present the students with the following to have a record of the letters for the future

In the future, I may have the students type out the hand-written responses and have them email it to me. This will save me the time of typing out the responses. Below is the information I will share with the students.

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE!

You made a great effort and made someone’s day. I would like you to take the note home and TYPE IT out. Send it to me in an email so I can share with future classes. I will change the names to protect the innocent.

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