Sunday, November 6, 2016


In studies of successful people, gratitude is frequently a characteristic that comes up. Gratitude is an emotion of expressing appreciation for what you have, rather than what you don’t have. Psychology Today reports that gratitude can be cultivated and it can increase levels of happiness when you do. Energy, optimism, and empathy are by-products of gratitude.

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, here are some tips for nurturing gratitude in your students:

Model Gratitude
Make it a habit to include things you appreciate into daily conversations.

What does it mean to be thankful? Write children’s responses on the board. What are some synonyms for thankful?

Thankful Journal

Make a special journal for each child to use during the month of November. Several times a week ask them to draw, list, or write sentences about things they are grateful for.

Thankful Board
Designate a bulletin board or poster in the hall as your “thankful board.” Children can attach sticky notes or draw pictures of things they are thankful for throughout the month.

Gratitude Box
Cut a hole in the top of a shoebox and decorate. Place on a shelf along with paper and pencils. Children write things they are thankful for and place them in the box. When you have a few extra minutes, select notes and read them to the class.

Tell Me Something GOOD
Start the day by going around the room and asking each child to say something they are thankful for.

End with Something GOOD
Clap and slap thighs as you say this chant to end your day:
Hey, hey, what do you say?
What happened good at school today?

Hot Potato Pass
Children sit or stand in a circle and begin passing the hot potato (ball or other small object) around. When the music stops or when the teacher blows a whistle the child holding the potato must say one thing they are thankful for.

We Give Thanks  (Tune:  "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore")
We give thanks for food we eat
On Thanksgiving Day.
We give thanks for food we eat
On Thanksgiving Day.

We give thanks for families...
We give thanks for all our friends...
Continue singing verses for things children suggest they are thankful for.