I think we can all agree that our world could use more gratitude! Showing gratitude is a skill that students need to be taught just like reading or counting. But how do you even start? These simple ideas will help you incorporate showing gratitude in your classroom!
Tip 1: Introduce the vocabulary
In order for students to be grateful and show gratitude, they first must understand what it means and it’s synonyms. Especially with our primary students, we have to think of a clear definition to make sure they understand what it means to be grateful. Try explaining to students that it’s similar to thankfulness and appreciation and it’s when you feel thankful to have certain things or feel a certain way.
Tip 2: Model
Make sure to say thank you! That’s a simple way to show gratitude and one that your students will be able to pick up on quickly! There are more ways to model this in the examples down below.
Tip 3: Read books about gratitude
As teachers, we know that reading books is a great way to introduce and build social skills! These books are some of my favorites to read about gratitude:
Tip 4: Practice in the Classroom
There are simple things that we can do every day to help model gratitude and give our students practice showing gratitude. Here are 3 quick and easy ideas:
- Write thank you notes: Start by having your students write thank you notes to each other. I do this every November around Thanksgiving (but obviously you don’t need to stick to just Thanksgiving!). You can grab those free notes here.
- Have a gratitude jar: Create a jar in your classroom where students write on small strips of paper what they are grateful for. This is low-pressure and students can write it at their leisure. It’s fun to empty the jar once it’s full and read what everyone is grateful for.
- Talk about it in your morning meetings: This is the perfect time to discuss what you’re feeling grateful for. Students can turn and discuss with a buddy something that made them feel grateful. You can use prompts to lead this discussion such as: What happened this morning that made you feel grateful? What is something in your room that you are grateful for? What is something in your house you have gratitude for? What food are you grateful for?
The easiest way to teach students to show gratitude is to just start! You don’t have to implement all of these ideas, just do what works for your classroom. Remember, teaching social skills takes time! But trust me, the wait is worth it!
Are you looking for more teaching tips? Check out these blog posts:
Mental Health Books for Kids: 8 Picture Books
The Teacher Treasury says
I love your ideas on how to teach gratitude! It is really important to teach them values at a young age because they will carry this as they grow.