Young male and female Asian-presenting children with their eyes closed and hands raised in gratitude.

Elementary Gratitude Activity: Foster a Sense of Gratitude With Your Students

It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

– David Steindl-Rast

Gratitude Mini Posters

1. Prompt to share with your students:

Today we are going to talk about happiness. Every day, things happen that make us smile, make us feel good, or even make us laugh. By stopping to think about something that makes us happy, and writing it down or saying it out loud, that’s called showing gratitude.

What’s gratitude? 

*allow time for students to think and respond*

Gratitude means being thankful and showing your appreciation for something.
We’re going to practice exactly that today.

2. Ask your students:

“What’s one thing about your day that made you happy (or will make you happy).”

Provide your own example to get ideas rolling.

3. Movement activity:

Have your students think of one thing that has made them happy today, and find someone in the room (by walking over to them), and share their happy thought. Have the other person share their happy thought too.

Give the students some time to do this activity.

4. Share-Out:

Once students are back in their seats, open the floor for students to share their happy thought with the whole class.

“Showing gratitude by talking about something in our day that makes us happy is a great way to start our day, turn our day around, or end our day on a high note.”

5. Mini Poster Activity

Tell the class: “Now we’re going to write about what we just did.  You can draw, write or do both. But I’d like you to pick one thing, it can be the thing you just shared, or it can be something else you thought of that just makes you happy, and write about it.”

Pass out the printed Gratitude Worksheets (AKA Mini Posters) from the provided resource box link.

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