Gratitude Activities That Are Easy to Prepare
As I was trying to come up with the way I wanted to teach gratitude to my elementary school students, I was struggling to create gratitude activities that would solidify their understanding of what it truly means to be thankful. After lots of brainstorming and research, I realized that the best way to teach students about gratitude is to have them complete gratitude practice in several different categories.
When teaching students about gratitude, it is important to help students solidify what gratitude means. Gratitude is connected to our emotions- it is a feeling of being thankful for the people, things, and circumstances in our lives. Doing gratitude affirmations with your students each day can help them to start seeing all of the things that they have too be grateful for.
This could be writing down 3 things you are grateful for in a gratitude journal, doing a turn-and-talk at the beginning or end of each day, or simply sharing something that they are grateful for during morning meeting.
After a lesson has been taught on the meaning of gratitude, gratitude practice is a crucial step in helping students after your gratitude lesson. One of my favorite gratitude activities is a scavenger hunt. Now, this is not like a regular scavenger hunt. Instead, students are “searching their brain” for memories and ideas that help them feel grateful. You can find my gratitude scavenger hunt here!
Letter to Others
Another FAVORITE gratitude activity of mine is gratitude letter writing. There is an awesome video on the impact that writing a letter to someone you are grateful for, and then READING IT TO THEM, can have on (not only their day, but) your day. I will have students write a letter (or craft an e-mail or a text message) to someone (a currently living human being- yup, that had to be clarified) that they are grateful for, letting them know how they have impacted their lives. Then, I challenge them to give the person the note or letter.
Letter to Ourself
The part of gratitude lessons that is typically left out is the part where we need to be grateful for OURSELVES. Yup, you read that right. No matter what is happening in our lives at a give moment, it is CRUCIAL that we focus on being grateful for the things we are doing.
Our hard work. Our focus. Our perseverance. Just being alive some days is enough to be grateful for. So, the next part of our gratitude activities is to write a letter to ourselves, thanking us for the awesome things we do each day.
If you combine all of these gratitude activities, you get what I like to call, the gratitude challenge. I will talk to students about gratitude all year long, however I typically take a week of the school year where we do explicit lessons on gratitude, the meaning of gratitude, WHY gratitude is important (always teach them the WHY), and how we can show gratitude. Then, we complete a few gratitude activities each day, in which I call, our gratitude challenge.
Other Gratitude Activities
Here are a few of my other favorite gratitude activities!
Digital Self-Care Notebook (we can show gratitude to ourselves by taking care of ourselves)
If you try any of the things listed above, I would love to see. Please tag me on Instagram for a chance to be featured.