3 Ways to Teach Gratitude in the Classroom
Teaching gratitude in a way that students can understand and apply is challenging, but it doesn't have to be! While gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we have as teachers, instilling a mindful approach to gratitude yields positive results that extend beyond the classroom.
The following are 3 activities to help instill gratitude in your students.
1.) A Gratitude Journal
An easy way to help students practice gratitude is with a daily gratitude journal. Set aside 5-10 minutes each day for students to write about something that they are grateful for.
An added benefit to the gratitude journal is that on days when students are struggling with gratitude, they can look back through their journal and remember all of the things they have to be grateful for. You can create your own journal for students or use the templates in our store.
2.) A Gratitude Jar
One of the best books we have found to teach gratitude is My Gratitude Jar by Kristin Wiens. In the story, the teacher has her students practice gratitude by making gratitude jars. Students write down things they are thankful for and place them in the jar.
This activity would be a great way to extend the practice of gratitude to your students’ families. Have students decorate the jar at school and send it home with a letter explaining the purpose of the gratitude jar and how to use it.
3.) Gratitude and Mindfulness STEM Activities
Another way to reinforce a mindful approach to gratitude is to have students create gratitude towers. For this fun, hands-on STEM activity students are given a pile of index cards. On each card they write one thing they are thankful for. Using their index cards and tape students work in small groups to create the tallest tower. The more things they are thankful for the bigger the tower will be!
Remember that a habit of gratitude can be built in just 5-10 minutes a day. Ways to build gratitude include using a gratitude journal, gratitude read-alouds and jars, and hands-on activities related to gratitude.
By not setting aside this time, students are missing out on the benefits of improved mental and physical health as well as improved relationships with others and better self-esteem. Cultivating gratitude doesn't take much time, but the benefits are immense.
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