Need a fresh Thanksgiving or Gratitude themed session plan for your older adults? Look at this carefully curated session plan from our therapist, Ellen, who specializes in older adults and memory care. 

Hail Hail The Gang’s All Here

Depending on the size of your group, you can replace the word “gang” with the group members name to promote socialization amongst group members. 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Play a recording of this song without any context. See if your group members can identify the theme for the session

Let’s Turkey Trot

Use a recorded version of this song by Little Eva to promote movement. 

I Thank You

This song by Sam & Dave is great to promote creative expression. Not only can you fill in the blanks for what the group is thankful for, but you can also have group members repeat the phrase. “I Thank You!” 

You didn’t have to _______ but you did, but you did but you did, and I Thank You!

I Got Rhythm

This song already has themes of gratitude and abundance. Using rhythm sticks, keep the beat throughout a recording of Lena Horne’s version. To make it simple, keep the same beat throughout, and to make it complex, change the rhythmic pattern throughout. 

That’s Thanksgiving

To the tune of That’s Amore, this songwriting allows for concrete answers of “What do you eat on Thanksgiving?” and more abstract answers like “What are you grateful for?” 

  • When ______  hits your plate on your turkey day That’s Thanksgiving
  • When you see so much _________ that you start drool That’s Thanksgiving
  • When you’re thankful for _______ and you know you’re not dreaming, be grateful
  • Excuse me, but you’ll see, with friends and family That’s Thanksgiving

Thankfulness Name That Tune

Now that you’ve discussed the different ideas and concepts your group is thankful for. Write down the following words on individual pieces of paper: Peace, Love, Friends, Family, Home. Have group members pick these out of a bag, and then hum or play part of the melody. See if your group members can guess the tune, then sing it together.


        1. Peace – Peace in the Valley
        2. Love – L-O-V-E, Someone to Watch Over Me
        3. Friends – Hail Hail, the Gang’s All Here, Friendship
        4. Family – Sisters
        5. Home – Sentimental Journey, This Land is Your Land

Happy Trails