Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner on October 12, 2015, with American Thanksgiving not far behind on November 26. At this time of year, many of us think about what we’re grateful for in our lives. This is also when I often see the misspelling of grateful as greatful. It’s an understandable error, given that the words contain the same letters, and that the word great is a common term that means good or wonderful—which does describe the things we’re grateful for! In honor of Thanksgiving, let’s discuss the term grateful and look at some activities and lessons on gratitude.
Grateful or Greatful?
There are several ways to express gratitude in English, but greatful is incorrect. The correct spelling of this term is grateful.
- I’m grateful for my health.
- I’m thankful for my health.
- My health is a blessing.
- I’m happy that I’m in good health.
- I’m lucky that I have my health.
- I want to express my gratitude.
TIP: The adjective grateful comes from the noun gratitude. It has nothing to do with the adjective great (except that they sound the same). Grateful comes from Latin gratus, while great comes from Old English grēat.
Activities & Lessons on Gratitude / Thanksgiving
Last year, our head writer, Tara Benwell, wrote a fun activity for our sister site (Sprout English) called Thanksgiving Activity: Count Your Blessings. Another activity to try is a pair/group/class discussion where students talk about of five or more things they are grateful for. This also makes a great writing or blogging assignment. Our post on 20+ Web Tools, Apps, and Activities for Celebrating the Holidays has some suggestions for using technology in class for Thanksgiving activities.
ESL Library has comprehensive low-intermediate and intermediate lessons on Thanksgiving. For listening practice, try our podcast on Thanksgiving. For flashcards, discussions on Black Friday, and more, check out ESL Lesson Plans on Thanksgiving.
What are your favorite activities or lessons on gratitude or Thanksgiving? Share them with us in the comments section below. I think all teachers are grateful for new ideas and materials!
What I’m Grateful For
I’m so grateful to work for a great company like Red River Press, home to ESL Library, English App, and Sprout English. I’m thankful for my supportive and talented coworkers: Tara Benwell, Robyn Shesterniak, Gannon McGibbon, and CEO Ben Buckwold. I know I speak for all of us when I say how grateful we are to our wonderful subscribers and other teachers in the ELT community for supporting and sharing what we do.
I’m also grateful that we were able to complete some long-term projects in time for the 2015 school year. We hope you’ll take a look at our new self-study English site, English App. If you’re an ESL Library subscriber, you can try it for free! We also released a new idioms series for ESL Library called Everyday Idioms 3. Students love learning idioms, so they’ll be grateful to you for teaching this exciting new series!
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