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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 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.

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. You can even make this a challenge and see how many sounds a student can hear. 

For both recorded and live options, the gratitude experiment video can be shown and the gratitude letters written on their own. 

For some additional videos to add into your online lesson, check out the lesson variation page for a couple great options. 

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

For the introduction on gratitude, pair or group students online to discuss what gratitude means to them.

For the introduction on gratitude, skip the partner talk and have students close their eyes and reflect on what gratitude means to them or where they have seen gratitude in their lives. 

For homework, consider having students complete the additional activity reflecting on different gratitude quotes on their own through a written reflection.

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.