33 Things We are Thankful For: In Honor of the Chilean Miners

In our Historic Events lesson plan, The Chilean Mine accident, we included a class activity called 33 Things We are Thankful For. We invited teachers to share their students’ “Gratitude” lists by sending us an email.

Louise, one of ESL-Library’s Facebook friends, shared her class list first.

I asked my students to suggest things that they would be thankful for if they were the rescued miners first and then what they were thankful for in their own lives. This brought about some interesting discussions; for example, one student said cigarettes and his daily beer at the end of the day. I asked if this was a habit, addiction, or simply routine behaviour of having a beer at the end of a busy day to unwind. Please note that these students are all international adults and not children or teens. Regardless, there was a lot of talking going on and it was wonderful. We had various opinions and it was nice to see that it was ok to disagree.
Louise Foster

33 things that we are all thankful for:

1. Family
2. Use of the toilet
3. Use of the shower
4. Use of the bath
5. Clean clothes
6. Fresh air
7. Food and drink
8. Health care
9. Warm bed at night – some of us are even lucky enough to sleep on the best quality high end mattress that money can buy!
10. To be alone sometimes to escape stress and think
11. Chance to share the experience of being rescued and not dying
12. Chance to experience the ordeal for personal growth – never be the same or take things for granted again.
13. Living without fear in a safe country
14. People who care about us
15. Our house/home
16. Our pets
17. The beauty of nature and all of God’s creations
18. God
19. Our cars
20. Our hobbies to keep our minds active
21. Variety of routines in life so we don’t get bored
22. New life – every day is a gift
23. Friends, colleagues and acquaintances
24. Freedom of actions and activities to do what we want when we want
25. Independence – self care
26. The sun
27. Healthy body
28. Healthy mind
29. Entertainment – computers, television and video games
30. Communication – cell phones, internet
31. Money
32. A good job
33. Ability to travel
Isn’t this a fantastic list? You can share your list too! Here are some ideas for publishing your list. Whatever you do, be sure to share a link with ESL-Library so that we can share your list with the world.

  • Create a Wordle
  • Create a Glog
  • Create a Wallwisher
  • Write a blog post in your class blog using one of the many blog platforms.
  • Write a guest blog post for our blog (send an email to tara@redriverpress.com) and maybe get an Internet Marketing Company to take a look at it and see if they can work their magic to boost it up the rankings.
  • Make a video or recording of your class reading their 33 Things list

A huge thank you to Louise and her wise students for taking the gratitude challenge! The miners are surely enjoying many of these things today. Louise works at a small private English Language Centre in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. “Burlington, a city of 166,000 people, is a wonderful place to stay and study English. It is located in southern Ontario on the north shore of Lake Ontario between Toronto and Hamilton. It is a very safe area with a high standard of living. The name of our school is English Encounters.”

Another list we received was from Jan Park’s Somerville Intermediate class in Auckland, New Zealand. Jan wrote:

I am a teacher of ESOL students (aged between 11 and 13 years) from China, Korea, Vietnam, Poland, Russia and Italy. We went through your free lesson and came up with the following things to be grateful for. Then we made a card to give to our parents, grandparents, uncles aunties etc. thanking them for some of these things.We are grateful for:

1. air to breath
2. food to eat
3. water to drink
4. games to play
5. birthday parties
6. pictures
7. videos of family
8. computers
9. t.v. to watch
10. writing letters
11. clothes to wear
12. a bed to sleep on
13. a hug
14. lovely flowers
15. driving in a car
16. family
17. time to do things
18. talking to friends
19 writing a diary
20. passport to travel
21. healthy bodies
22. heaters in winter
23. love
24. beaches
25. babies
26. parks to play in
27. good friends
28. holidays
29. safe homes
30. doctors
31. dentists
32. teachers
33. church

Thank you Jan! Please congratulate your students from the staff at ESL-Library. This is a fantastic list. Your students thought of some really unique ideas, including birthday parties and journal writing. I wonder how many of the miners celebrated a birthday under ground. We know many of them passed the time by writing letters, poetry and biographies. We hope your loved ones enjoyed their cards!

Here are some new lists we received from Marsha Goren and her English learners in Israel who are happy that their “beautiful country is taking care of them”! Thank you so much for sharing your gratitude lists this with us. We are so glad that you are enjoying ESL-Library’s materials.


Leave a Comment ↓

  1. alex ringer says:

    Jan 07, 2011 at 7:25 am

    If I was caught in a mine for a month or two without the ability to get out my wish list would have been much modest and simpler. But even though, everyone has his/her preferences and scale of importance. We cannot argue about air, water and food, but not being alone is the next issue I’d put in my list and if this wish will come true then additional important issues will be added to the list as the ability to live together, to understand each other, to love and care.
    It seems that the brave Chilean miners have broader qualities which enabled them to survive. I salute you brothers.

    Check: http://screencast.com/t/O9MjNUtuVLe


  2. Marsha Goren says:

    Jan 05, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Hello Tara,
    Hi Tara,
    It is Marsha from Globaldreamers and my kids and I took part in your wonderful activity in honor of the 33 Chilean miners. The e-Pals website has published this in their community blog.

    ePals (http://www.epals.com is the leading provider ofsafe collaborative technology for schools to connect and learn in a protected, project-based learningnetwork. With classrooms in200 countries and territories,ePals makes it easy to connect learners locally, nationally or internationally. Teachers Students and Families are all a part of this global community.
    I am indeed proud to have this in their website.
    It is a wonderful activity and I hope this will bring many educators to your wondeful site on ESL.
    With warm regards,
    Marsha Goren

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