Teachers. Parents. Caregivers.
We give so much of ourselves to those we care for. We do it out of love and dedication. We strive to be the consistently positive support for them. While we often do not expect much in return, when those little arms wrap around you or you find a sweet drawing on your desk, your heart swells that gratitude was shown to you.
Today, we are talking about the magic of gratitude. How do we nurture our young students and help them to practice gratitude?
Let's take a look.
1. Gratitude Circle
Gather your students in a circle and have them take turns sharing what they're thankful for. This can become a daily or weekly routine to promote a culture of gratitude in your class.
2. Gratitude Tree
Have a gratitude tree in your classroom. Students can add a leaf with something they're grateful for each time they feel thankful. Watch the tree bloom with positivity over time!
3. Gratitude Rocks
Let your students paint or decorate small rocks with messages of thanks. These can be kept in their pockets as a tangible reminder to appreciate the little things.
4. Gratitude Chains
There are two ways to use these chains. The first way is to use it as a Countdown Chain. Set up the full chain of gratitude discussion prompts. Take one link off each day as you count down to Thanksgiving, school event or break. Discuss each prompt as a class in your gratitude circle or during morning meeting.
The second way is to create a larger Gratitude Chain. Students write what they are thankful for and add it to the chain. Watch the chain grow during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving or anytime you are focusing on being extra thankful!
Read books or stories that revolve around gratitude and kindness. Discuss the lessons learned and encourage students to share their own stories about gratitude. You can see our favorite gratitude and Thanksgiving read alouds here.*
Teaching gratitude in your elementary classroom doesn't have to be a dull. In fact, it can be an incredibly fun and interactive experience for both you and your students. By incorporating these playful activities, you'll not only help your little ones develop an attitude of gratitude but also create a warm and positive classroom environment that will stay with them throughout their lives. So, go ahead, spread the gratitude love, and watch your classroom bloom with thankfulness!
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