Gratitude is an important concept for kids to learn. Being grateful for things that don’t cost money or aren’t material possessions can be quite difficult for students to grasp. This is the second year I have done gratitude journals in my classroom. They are proving to be so valuable. I can see how my students have grown and become more aware of all the little things that they can be grateful for. We have these great mini-binders from Staples that we use as our journals. The bonus is that you can reuse them every year. I just send the personal pages from each binder home at the end of each year with each of my students. Here is what the binder looks like…
Here are a few examples of what they have written…
Their gratitude has become deeper than simply “I’m grateful for my family” or “I’m grateful for school” (even though those are awesome things to be grateful for).
This year I also added a weekly, whole class gratitude. We reflect on the week and decide what we were most grateful for. Once we agree on something, a student writes it on a piece of paper and puts it in the “gratitude box”.
At the end of the year, it will be fun to read all the weekly gratitudes together and enjoy all the positives that the past year included.
Parents appreciate the fact that their children are being mindful of all the things they can be grateful for. It is an activity we do at least 3 times a week and my hope is that the happiness and positivity that come out of writing in these journals will encourage my students to continue having a heart of gratitude through the years.
I personally write in gratitude journal at home every day. I know it helps ground me and focus on the good…even on those tough, tiring days we all sometimes experience. Gratitude changes everything!