Creating a gratitude journal at home or in the classroom is a wonderful visual reminder of the positive things we should acknowledge and appreciate in life. Research shows, that grateful people are happier and more content. It is easy to get caught up in daily existence that we forget to stop and smell the roses.

1. Pick a set time to write in the gratitude journal. In the morning when you wake up, while eating breakfast, before bedtime, at morning circle in the classroom are just a few ideas. It could be once a week, or Monday and Friday to begin and end the week. Make a set time that works and is achievable to stick too. This can be done individually or collectively as a class.

2. Choose a beautiful journal, create a gratitude tree and use sticky-notes or write it in an email. Select a writing medium that enables you to reflect on the journaling experience.

3. Prompts:
– Who do you love?
– What do you love about yourself?
– I am thankful I learned about…
– I love my home, city, country because…
– What smells and sounds are you grateful for?
– Gifts you have given or received.
– What are you grateful for at home?
– Who are you grateful for in your community or at school?
– What in the environment are you grateful for?

How this activity relates to social and emotional learning

  • Understanding what gratitude means.
  • Expressing and feeling gratitude encourages positive mindset.
  • Conveying gratitude decreases stress and increases feelings of inclusion.