7 Activities To Inspire Gratitude in Your Students

As an educator, you surely know the value of gratitude in your students. November offers the perfect opportunity, with an air of Thanksgiving to promote and engage grateful students! Here we offer, with the help of Vicki Zakrzewski and the Greater Good Science Center, some activities to do in your classroom! Most can be adapted to any grade level, although we have K-5 in mind!

7 Classroom Gratitude Activities We LOVE

READ: We're All Wonders  by, R.J. Palacio.   We're launching our our first, AddyPres Solver6 Series: Gratitude & WONDER,  on World Kindness Day, November 13th, with a K-2nd & 3rd-5th version to compliment the Wonder Books. Try it with your students, and share your experience! @AddyPresLFStyle #AddyPresInspires

Make a Classroom Gratitude Book. Create a gratitude book to send home with a different child each week. Ask each student’s family to add a page of pictures and descriptions of what they’re grateful for. Throughout the year reflect on what each family is grateful for, then make a copy of the completed classroom gratitude book to send home with each student!

Take Gratitude Photos. Have each student write what he or she is thankful for on a large piece of paper and then take a picture of the child holding up his or her paper. Frame the photo and send it home as a holiday gift.

Gratitude Image or PostIt Collage Bulletin Board. Have students cut out pictures of things or write & draw what they’re grateful for on a post it note and then use the pictures or Post It's to create their own collage or to decorate a classroom gratitude bulletin board.

Gratitude Circle. Begin or end the day sitting in a circle with each person sharing one thing that he or she is grateful for and why. Note: Younger students will need modeling to explain why they’re grateful for something, perhaps start with your favorite story about gratitude and discuss before doing a gratitude circle. This activity could easily become a weekly or monthly classroom staple mixed in with an end of the day MindYeti practice!

Gratitude Journals. Have each student create a gratitude journal or decorate the cover of a pre-made one. Once a week, have students write three things they’re grateful for and why. *Research shows that this activity loses it's impact if done too often, be sure to limit this activity to once a week.*

Surprise Gratitude Sticky Notes. Give each student one or more sticky notes to write something they’re grateful for or about another person in the school or greater community. Then have the students or engage their parents to help students “deliver” the sticky notes by either giving them or placing them where the person/group will see it. (EX. a locker, a phone, a cleaning cart, to a janitor, food staff, school administration, police officer, fire station, at a bank, grocery store, hospital, or to any friend or family member, etc.)