November is a good time for teaching gratitude in the classroom — after all, Thanksgiving is supposed to be all about being thankful for the things we have. But how do we teach gratitude when life isn’t always easy for our students … or ourselves? We’ve put together some gratitude activities for kids that can make this hard lesson easier to take in.
Gratitude Activities for Kids
These gratitude activities can be used as a part of your class’ daily gratitude practice, or as stand-alone activities.
Gratitude Journal for Kids
There’s solid research that a gratitude journal for kids can help decrease materialism and bolster generosity. So why not add a daily or weekly gratitude writing activity?
You can use composition notebooks and make gratitude journaling a free writing activity. Grab the Gratitude Journal Notebook Cover to mark these notebooks specific for gratitude journaling.
For students who don’t know where to start, these Gratitude Journal Writing Prompt Cards contain 50 different prompts to help.
Read Gratitude Books for Kids
You don’t have to be the only one modeling gratitude for your students! The characters of some fabulous children’s books can help with the process of teaching gratitude. Here are some favorites to try this year:
- Thankful by Elaine Vickers
- The Thank You Book by Mo Willems
- A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
- Thank You Omu! by Oge Mora
Make a Gratitude Tree
Sometimes called a thankful tree, this is a simple but powerful way to remind your students that everyone has something to be grateful for.
Students take a leaf-shaped piece of paper and write something they are grateful for. Then they add their leaf to the class gratitude tree! We created one using crepe paper for the tree trunk and grass, and then our Gratitude Tree Leaves Template for the leaves.
We created one using crepe paper for the tree trunk and grass, and then our Gratitude Tree Leaves Template for the leaves.
Want a gratitude activity that’s more Thanksgiving-focused? Try making “thankful turkeys!” Kids can write the things they are thankful for on the feathers of their turkey instead of on a leaf.
Create a Gratitude Jar
A gratitude jar is one of my favorite gratitude activities for kids! Download and print the Gratitude Jar Cut and Assemble Kit and add the printable labels to a container in your classroom (we used an old candy jar). Students write on the slips something they are grateful for and put it into the jar.
At the end of a decided period of time — maybe a week, a month, or even the end of the semester — you can read these out as a class as a beautiful reflection!
The Gratitude Jar Cut and Assemble Kit that we’ve created also includes two beautiful gratitude quotes that are perfect to display in a photo frame beside your gratitude jar and slips.
Read a Gratitude Poem for Kids
Sometimes, we need a simple way to both teach and remind kids about what gratitude is. This original, printable gratitude poem was written with kids in mind. The poem can be stuck into the front of their gratitude journals as an easy way to remember what gratitude is all about.
Gratitude Writing Prompt Sheets
This resource contains five nature-inspired gratitude writing prompts. Each page has a different picture and a simple prompt for students to respond to.
There is no right or wrong way to use this resource. Students can write words, phrases, or whole sentences. They can write on the picture, or in the space around it. They can color it in, or not! How you use this gratitude writing prompt depends on what kind of writing you’d like your students to complete, or simply what they feel inspired to do!
Gratitude Quote Posters
We should never underestimate the impact of a poster that sits unassumingly on our classroom walls. As our students look around the room seeking a little brain break, their eyes fall upon displays. These little messages, read again and again, can turn from a fleeting thought into knowledge.
These two simple gratitude quote posters make a wonderful addition to your classroom decor.
- “Gratitude Turns What We Have Into Enough” Quote Poster
- “Start Each Day With a Grateful Heart” Quote Poster
Gratitude activities for kids might just seem like another thing to add to the list, however, it can be such a simple practice to set up and include in your daily classroom routine.
These gratitude activities work beautifully with our collections of kindness and mindfulness activities, too. So, why not try taking 5 minutes after lunch each day for your students to engage in a kindness, mindfulness, or gratitude activity?
Take a look through our Gratitude Teaching Resource Collection.