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Learning Goal

Students will gain an understanding of the meaning and value of gratitude.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Describe what gratitude is and how it can impact happiness
  • Identify what they are grateful for
Learning Summary

Studies have shown that when we practice gratitude, happiness goes up, stress and depression can go down, and we are able to build stronger relationships with those around us. This lesson provides students time and space to think about and practice gratitude.

The lesson starts with a mindfulness listening activity in which students at their desks pay attention to sounds in the classroom, in the hallways, in the school, and, if possible, even outside. The introduction leads students through a conversation on what gratitude means to them and a bit on the science about how gratitude increases happiness. You will guide your students in a mindful gratitude practice in which students take time to focus on all they are grateful for. Following the activity, the class participates in a gratitude circle, sharing one thing they are grateful for and why. Students end by drawing or writing their own personal reflection from the gratitude activities.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Gratitude

For the listening mindful moment, have some fun and make some different noises on your end to see if the students can point them out. 

For both recorded and live options, the gratitude visualization can be led by the teacher. Make sure to leave pauses during the visualization for students to imagine all the people and things they are grateful for. 

The Kid President video under lesson variations is a fun video for kids to see a student their age giving thanks and gratitude! 

Finally, encourage students to think of ways they can show gratitude to their family or caregivers while at home learning! 

For the gratitude circle, have students share through their microphone or chat box something they are grateful for. It may be helpful for students to fill out the journal page first then share that with the class as the gratitude circle.

Instead of the gratitude circle discussion, have students complete the journal page drawing something they are grateful for. 

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose.