6 gratitude lessons and ideas to teach in the classroom. Encourage kids to reflect and be thankful by writing in a gratitude journal and more with impactful activities!
We all know that the attitudes of the kids we teach significantly impact the culture of our classrooms. We want to inspire positive attitudes and increase empathy and community. Teaching gratitude in the classroom is one way to do that.
I am attempting to address these character traits in my series on building social responsibility. The following ideas are six ways to teach gratitude in the classroom.
Continue reading to the end of this post to find free printable resources you can use with your class.
Table of Contents
- 6 Gratitude Lessons to Teach in Your Classroom
- Try the Free Gratitude Resources
- Social Emotional Learning Curriculum
- More Ways to Foster Gratitude
6 Gratitude Lessons to Teach in Your Classroom
How do we build the emotional skill of gratitude in our students? It’s not hard to address it. Will teaching kids how to be grateful help create a positive classroom atmosphere? I believe it does.
I will list some ideas and activities below for you to consider, and they will empower your students to appreciate and enjoy their school days. You’ll see them become more grateful and joyful in general. Give these strategies a try!
1. Gratitude Journals
Have your students write down what they’re thankful for daily. A 5-minute activity at the beginning of the day can set the tone for a good day ahead.
A look back on the week and a thorough weekly gratitude journal would encourage older students to reflect and be thankful. Print off one of the FREE gratitude journal pages below and start today!
2. Board of Thanks
Perhaps you can place a bulletin board in the room where students can place note cards or sticky notes with things that happen during the day for which they are grateful. When someone sees something positive and encouraging, they can add it to the board. A little note goes a long way!
3. Serving Others
Is there a community project that your class could work on together? Maybe another classroom in the building for which you could do something kind or generous? Can your children write encouraging notes or cards to patients in a local hospital or rehabilitation center? Perhaps they can start a fundraiser for a children’s home or homeless shelter? There are many ways to be thoughtful and help others in selfless ways.
4. Question of the Day
Once a day, have a brief question and discussion time or a written response. Questions can be about anything you wish. Have a daily question of the day posted for students to answer and discuss them. Ask how we are thankful for the things we have and what we can do. Students can also take turns asking the questions or use the Daily Questions on Gratefulness.org for discussion ideas.
5. Thank Those Who are Invested in Them
Local groups, businesses, and others in the community support many classrooms and schools. Teach your students about how the involvement of others helps them to succeed in class. Maybe they can do something to show gratitude to the school’s PTA or even just parents who may volunteer their time in the classroom each week. A thank you letter from the class would go a long way!
6. Read Books about Gratitude
Many fiction and nonfiction books can be used to encourage gratefulness in your students. One that I like to read with my class is The Thankful Book by Todd Parr. This book has lots of simple ideas kids can relate to.
Encourage children to write and draw about what they are thankful for. Then, have students share their ideas with the class.
Try the Free Gratitude Resources
Journal & Book Activity
Encourage children to express gratitude through words and pictures with a gratitude journal and book response activity.
Click the image below to download the FREE gratitude journal templates.
Encourage children to show gratitude throughout the month with a gratitude challenge. They can record and keep track as they recognize what they are thankful for.
Click the image below to download the FREE gratitude calendar templates (4 versions included).
Social Emotional Learning Curriculum
Teach children in K-2 the most critical life lessons when needed, with units and activities on emotions, self-regulation, growth mindset, empathy, social awareness, friendship, kindness, respect, and responsibility.
Want to build a peaceful classroom with respectful, confident, and kind kids who can build relationships and communicate effectively? Then this SEL curriculum for 3-5 is for YOU!
Why should we teach a gratitude lesson to our classroom students? Because the whole atmosphere of your classroom will become more positive. Attitudes will improve, and the classroom culture will be one of optimism and hope for good outcomes. Let me know if you try any of these strategies, activities, and ideas in your class!
More Ways to Foster Gratitude
Teach Social Emotional Learning Through Meetings
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FREE Social Emotional Learning Email Series
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