Grades K-2: Gratitude Circles
Grades 3-4: Top 10 List
Grade 5: Kid President
Objective: Students will increase self awareness skills, discussion - empathy awareness
Grades 6-8: The Science of Happiness
Objective: Students will be able to identify self awareness and how relationship skills are important for their well being.
Using a Facebook template, allow your students to think about someone they are grateful for. They will complete a planning page for a Facebook post to reflect on their chosen person they are grateful for and why they are grateful for that particular person.
OR watch this video: The Science of Happiness
Then have your students write a letter to their person whom they are the most grateful for and ask them to read it to the person they write to.
Grades 8-12: People who have made a difference
Learning objective: Students will develop an understanding that they can feel gratitude toward people whose actions benefited society as a whole (social awareness), and that these benefits may be felt years or even centuries later.
Gratitude concepts: Understanding the ideas of intention and cost in the actions that ultimately benefit others. We can be grateful to people we have never met.
SEL competencies: Self awareness, Social awareness and responsible decision-making
Optional video to shift mindset: Nick Vujicic and his powerful story.
- Ask students to identify a historical figure who did something they feel grateful for. Have them research the person they chose. This may be done over multiple days.
- When students have completed their research, bring the class together for a short guided visualization
- Close your eyes, and take five deep, slow breaths, in and out. Bring to mind an image of the person you have researched. Hold that image while breathing deeply…try to feel what it would actually be like to be in the presence of that person. Focus on the feeling of gratitude you have for this person while you take five more deep breaths, in and out. Now, slowly open your eyes and bring your focus back into the
Following the visualization, have the class write an essay/quick write/google presentation outline that covers these questions:
- What did this person do that makes you feel grateful?
- Why did this person do these things? What was the intention behind this person’s actions?
- What was the cost of these actions for the person you reached? Explain to students that one way to think about “cost” is to understand what this person might have given or sacrificed, or lost in order to do the things she or he did. Think of costs not only in terms of money, but also in terms of time spent, physical health or strength required, safety that might have been risked, opportunities that might have been lost, impacts on relationships with family or others, etc.
- How have you benefited from this person’s actions? How has society as a whole benefited?
- Have students make a brief presentation to the class about the historical figure that they researched and connect it to why they are grateful for this person.