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 benefits of practicing gratitude
  • Create and share a gratitude letter

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. Then you’ll discuss what gratitude means and a bit on the science behind gratitude increasing happiness. You then show a video on gratitude and happiness.. Following the video, lead a brief discussion on takeaways and reflections from videos. Next, students write a letter of gratitude letter to someone who has made an impact on their lives. If you want, you can then facilitate a community circle where students can share whom they wrote their letter to and why. Students end by drawing or writing their own personal reflection on the gratitude activities.

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."

Classroom Teaching Example