Research shows that expressing gratitude yields positive benefits for students, which, in return, positively impacts their learning experiences.
‘Tis the season of giving thanks! Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to help students cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.” Research shows that expressing gratitude yields positive benefits for students, which, in return, positively impacts their learning experiences.
Knowing the benefits of grateful thinking, how can educators foster gratitude in their students? Consider the following ideas to get started:
- Model gratitude. Be a good example for students by expressing gratitude through words, writing and small acts of giving.
- Start a gratitude journal. Every day for two weeks, ask students to record at least three things for which they are grateful. After two weeks, allow them to discuss any changes in their mood or outlook on life.
- Write thank-you notes. Ask students to write a personalized note to someone who has been helpful to them, such as a parent, teacher, coach or janitor. Then, discuss how it felt to openly express gratitude.
- Give back to the community. Volunteering is a great way to help students recognize their own fortune and the hard work of others.
- Create a gratitude quilt. On a 5”x 5” blank piece of paper, ask students to draw something for which they are grateful. Then, piece the squares together to create a quilt.
For more activities and ideas to foster gratitude in students, visit greatergood.berkeley.edu.