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The Perfect Classroom Gift: A Gift of Words

“A Gift of Words” is a very simple lesson.

Tell your class:

“Okay, class, here’s what I want you to bring to class with you on the last day of school before winter break. I want you to find a poem, a saying, a paragraph you like — something that speaks to you because of its message, its beauty, its format. I want you to copy it onto a piece of paper, put it into a box, wrap it, and bring it to class. Be sure to include, before you wrap it, the name of the author and your name as the giver.”

When the day comes, students will place their packages on the teacher’s desk. They should vary from huge to tiny, from carefully wrapped to hurriedly tossed together. And yes, there will be those who forget, who scribbled “Just do it” on a piece of notebook paper, folded it like a paper football, and added it to the pile. You should provide a few extras, just in case.

How to start:

“Whose birthday is closest to Christmas? Okay, you’re first. Pick any present you want.”


What would she/he get? You won’t be disappointed. The contents will vary — favorites from “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein to Bible verses, song lyrics, and short sayings like “Just do it.” The experiment will be a success. Everyone in the class will have a gift and you will have the greatest gift of all-happiness.


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