Reasons Why I Am Thankful Essay

Friends University is a University that asks a lot from its students, and the majority (if not all) are involved in extra-curricular activities on and off campus. Then, there are some students who surpass expectations, like my friend Panya Amphone. I met him when I first got to this University and he has never failed to impress me.

Panya is a Singing Quaker (a choir which is the University's pride and longest tradition,) a peer tutor, an instructor, a student worker, and, on top of all that, a student. I've seen his hard work and everything that follows it, and while he has made many achievements many people don't know the effort he puts behind his work.

I remember seeing his Snapchat where he was memorizing lines to the Mikado, and I remember thinking "I want to go see that." I saw his hard work and it paid off. The Mikado was a success and Panya and the other casts members really made it all worth it.

Sometimes, when people are doing phenomenally well there is always a group of people who have something negative to say and this, unfortunately, happened to my dear friend. He got a little personal on Snapchat this past weekend after KMEA (Kansas Music Educators Association.) Someone he really looked up to harshly and unjustly criticized his work and effort.

When I saw this, I felt distraught because I always tell my roommate how phenomenal Panya is and that I couldn't do half of the things he does. Hearing him pour out his emotions made me realize that it was about time to make an article saying how much I actually looked up to my friend.

No matter how much stress he is under, he always greets me with a hug and a smile that brightens my day, and, if I don't see him, he'll yell "PAMEEELAAAAA" (my middle name) across campus just so we can talk. It is safe to say that this type of friendship is my favorite; we talk about school, work, and sometimes his personal life, and even if it's just for a few seconds or five minutes I'm always happier.

I'm not a person who naturally goes and hugs anyone but I'll never reject a hug to anyone, especially Panya.

Panya, if you are reading this, I hope you're still killing the game (who are we kidding, of course you are) and know that negative comments should never cloud your vision because, at the end of the day, it is your dreams and your life, and only you can make these important choices. I'm sure there is an enormous team of supporters behind you, and I'll always be a part of that team, even if I'm not always visible.

Love your friend, PAMELAAAA.

Thanksgiving, and even the entire month of November, is the perfect time to reflect on the many blessings we have in our lives and all the things we are thankful for. Each year in my classroom, I spend some time with my students discussing the things they are thankful for, and I usually have them complete some type of activity. Recently, we've been focusing on the writing process and writing essays. This was the perfect opportunity for my students to practice these skills with a topic that is important and meaningful to them.
We started the process with brainstorming. My students created webs of all the things they were thankful for. In the beginning, I gave them about 10 minutes to reflect on their own. Then I gave them time to share their ideas with others and add to their web.
Next, my students had to narrow their topic by choosing the six most important things that they were thankful for. I emphasized the importance of choosing things that they would be able to write a lot about. They then wrote reasons, details, and examples for each item.
Finally it was time for them to start writing. They used the essay organizer to write an introduction, three body paragraphs (about three things they were thankful for), and a conclusion. When these were done, they got their red (or pink) pens out for some revising and editing. {I am so proud of how much my kiddos are growing with this step!!}
The final step of this process was writing their final drafts. They added illustrations, outlined their paragraphs, and added detail to the page. I was so proud of the entire process and how nice they turned out. To finish them off, we stapled all 4 pages onto a piece of construction paper to document the entire process. I was so pleased to read about the things they chose to write about. I am almost done reading them, and I haven't read one that mentions video games!!

The pages for this writing assignment can be found as a FREEBIE at my TpT store, along with a Thanksgiving Roll-a-Story!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by and have a wonderful (and thankful) November!!

Rebecca

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