Teachable Tuesdays – Gratitude

Grades K-2: Gratitude Circles
Objective: Students will increase self awareness skills
Introduce Video: Attitude of Gratitude

Create a circle of students in your classroom and choose a student to start the gratitude circle. For K-2 , you might have to preface this activity by discussing the meaning of gratitude, giving examples of things they could be grateful for and by modeling how you would like them to mention when it is their turn. Ie: “I am grateful for clothes to wear to school” or “I am grateful for food to eat.” or “I am grateful for ________________ .” If you have a student who cannot come up with a reply, you can always tell them that you are grateful for them and let them have time to think.

Extension: Have them express their gratitude to someone of their choice by making a card with “Grateful for” on the front – open it up and have them illustrate it or write a little note to the person of their choice.

Grades 3-4: Top 10 List
Objective: Students will increase self awareness skills
Watch the following video: Gratefulness

Think of 10 people or things that you are grateful for. When you finish your Top 10 list, circle the top 5 and out to the side, give the reason why you made the choice to put them in the top 5.

Extension: put your list in ABC order or illustrate your top choice on the back of your paper.

Grade 5: Kid President
Objective: Students will increase self awareness skills, discussion – empathy awareness
Show the video: Kid President
 Challenge your students to come up with their own list of 25 things to be grateful for. Did you know that the Kid President has a rare bone disease? Osteogenesis imperfecta is the name of it. It causes his bones to break – very easily. He is also adopted.
 Have a class discussion that addresses why he might be such a grateful, happy person even though he has had some tough life circumstances.

Grades 6-8: The Science of Happiness
Objective: Students will be able to identify self awareness and how relationship skills are important for their well being. 

Using a Facebook template, allow your students to think about someone they are grateful for. They will complete a planning page for a Facebook post to reflect on their chosen person they are grateful for and why they are grateful for that particular person.

OR watch this video: The Science of Happiness. Then have your students write a letter to their person whom they are the most grateful for and ask them to read it to the person they write to. 

Grades 8-12: People who have made a difference
Learning objective: Students will develop an understanding that they can feel gratitude toward people whose actions benefited society as a whole (social awareness), and that these benefits may be felt years or even centuries later.
Gratitude concepts:
Understanding the ideas of intention and cost in the actions that ultimately benefit others. We can be grateful to people we have never met.
SEL competencies:
Self awareness, Social awareness and responsible decision-making

Optional video to shift mindset: Nick Vujicic and his powerful story.

  • Ask students to identify a historical figure who did something they feel grateful for. Have them research the person they chose. This may be done over multiple days.
  • When students have completed their research, bring the class together for a short guided visualization
  • Close your eyes, and take five deep, slow breaths, in and out. Bring to mind an image of the person you have researched. Hold that image while breathing deeply…try to feel what it would actually be like to be in the presence of that person. Focus on the feeling of gratitude you have for this person while you take five more deep breaths, in and out. Now, slowly open your eyes and bring your focus back into the 

Following the visualization, have the class write an essay/quick write/google presentation outline that covers these questions:

  1. What did this person do that makes you feel grateful?
  2. Why did this person do these things? What was the intention behind this person’s actions?  
  3. What was the cost of these actions for the person you reached? Explain to students that one way to think about “cost” is to understand what this person might have given or sacrificed, or lost in order to do the things she or he did. Think of costs not only in terms of money, but also in terms of time spent, physical health or strength required, safety that might have been risked, opportunities that might have been lost, impacts on relationships with family or others, etc. 
  4. How have you benefited from this person’s actions? How has society as a whole benefited?
  5. Have students make a brief presentation to the class about the historical figure that they researched and connect it to why they are grateful for this person.

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