The Best Gift of All: Connection

Anyone else relate to this dinner scenario?

"How was your day?" 


(Eat in silence or while scrolling on phones)

 One of the biggest challenges I've noticed since being back in school in person is the need for conversational skills.  In class during morning meeting, we spend time devoted to talking and interacting with one another. While I can foster this in the classroom, I know practicing communication skills need to continue at home.

In comes our holiday gift for our families: the Table Talk can. You repurpose any container you have around, but I love tea and I've been saving the tea cans for a "someday project".  (You're teachers... I know you understand this)
I gave students a template with four rectangles, one for each side of the can. They decorated it: some drew the four seasons, others drew family members, while some drew activities their family likes to do together. Each can was unique. We cut it out and wrapped it around the can with clear packing tape. 
Next, I gave them two sheets of questions (52 questions) to cut out and put in the tin.  They were so excited; as they cut the strips, I could hear them reading questions aloud and answering them with their desk partners! They wanted to continue talking and they kept saying they couldn't wait to "play this game" with their families. I hope this helps my students and their families spend time connecting with each other! 
I love how this student explained the gift:
Dear Mom & Dad,
I hope you guys will like this because it takes the worst thing away: AWKWARD conversations at the table. It is called the Table Talk . You take a note out and everybody answers that question.

Funny side story: my husband and I went out for dessert the other night. After we ordered and while we were waiting for our dessert, our server gave us a screen of questions on an iPad for us to TALK TO EACH OTHER! We had so much fun thinking about our answers: What is your favorite gift to give during the holidays? What is your most vivid holiday memory, good or bad? 

I even made myself a can so my own family can connect at dinner. . . I'm sure my teenager and 20-something will protest at first; lol

Click HERE to download the tea can template. For a copy of the Table Talk questions and tea can lids, click HERE.

For more holiday gift ideas, click HERE. Or if you have a tea problem like I do extra tea cans, read HERE about more ideas for using them in the classrooms! Happy holidays!

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