Why gratitude? Why might we chose to practice it? Gratitude comes from the latin word for graciousness, GRATIA. It is the quality of being thankful; gratitude is a readiness to show appreciation for something or someone.

There is evidence Gratitude Activates our brain’s reward pathways (producing ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin). Gratitude increases our capacity for empathy as we practice seeing the efforts and contributions of others. Gratitude can have the somewhat surprising effect of making us less materialistic, as we direct our gaze upon what we have rather than what we want. Practicing gratitude can enhance our self esteem as it shifts the way we see ourselves in relation to the world. Expressing gratitude within our relationships strengthens connections. We all respond to being affirmed for our actions and qualities.

Overview

Gratitude Lesson Plan

This Lesson puts Gratitude at its center; first making the idea of Gratitude and the potential health benefits of practicing it, explicit. We’ve provided tools (videos, and PDFs) for supporting the three discussion topics that lead up to a visual arts activity, Gratitude Trophies. As is always the case, your current classroom culture, how familiar students are with each other and with you (the teacher), and possible prior classroom investigations into the Discussion Topics will affect how deeply each topic will need to be explored.

Teacher Priming

Locating Oneself within Gratitude

Write a Thank You note to an object that plays a role in your daily life.

Consider the physical form of the object: 
● The design
● The aesthetic appeal
● Any marks from use

Consider how you use the object. How does it simplify or support a task or process? Consider how and where the object was made. What stories does it hold? What particular aspects of the object do you most appreciate?

Creative Routines

Circle of Compliments

It may be helpful to practice complimenting another person in a somewhat anonymous fashion before diving into the Gratitude Trophies Challenge. This short language driven activity provides that scaffolding.

List of Delights

In this activity, you’ll list 10 things that enhance your life. Engage all your senses as you consider the small joys throughout your day.

Creative Challenge

Gratitude Trophies

This is an opportunity to foster belonging in any group, while also practicing metaphorical thinking and sculpting. Students sculpt a paper ‘trophy’ for a peer.

Working with constrained materials means that students are invited to experiment with and discover a variety of ways to manipulate the material. Assuming conditions for creative engagement are set, everyone comes away feeling appreciated for a quality that they bring to the group.

Reflections & Extensions

Reflections & Extensions for Gratitude

To extend your work around gratitude, we ask that you reflect with a series of questions designed to get you thinking about the areas in your life that bring you joy. We’ve also attached several other classroom exercises to assist in your academic explorations.

Resources

Additional Readings on Gratutide

We’ve assembled a collection of articles and other resources for further exploration in your classrooms!

Virtues List

A handy printable listing some common virties–great for your classroom wall!

Overview

Gratitude Lesson Plans

This Lesson puts Gratitude at its center; first making the idea of Gratitude and the potential health benefits of practicing it, explicit. We’ve provided tools (videos, and PDFs) for supporting the three discussion topics that lead up to a visual arts activity, Gratitude Trophies. As is always the case, your current classroom culture, how familiar students are with each other and with you (the teacher), and possible prior classroom investigations into the Discussion Topics will affect how deeply each topic will need to be explored.

Teacher Priming

Locating Oneself Within Gratitude

Write a Thank You note to an object that plays a role in your daily life.

Consider the physical form of the object:

● The design

● The aesthetic appeal

● Any marks from use

Consider how you use the object. How does it simplify or support a task or process?Consider how and where the object was made. What stories does it hold? What particular aspects of the object do you most appreciate?

Creative Routines

Circle of Compliments

It may be helpful to practice complimenting another person in a somewhat anonymous fashion before diving into the Gratitude Trophies Challenge. This short language driven activity provides that scaffolding.

List of Delights

In this activity, you’ll list 10 things that enhance your life. Engage all your senses as you consider the small joys throughout your day.

Creative Challenge

Gratitude Trophies

This is an opportunity to foster belonging in any group, while also practicing metaphorical thinking and sculpting. Students sculpt a paper ‘trophy’ for a peer.

Working with constrained materials means that students are invited to experiment with and discover a variety of ways to manipulate the material. Assuming conditions for creative engagement are set, everyone comes away feeling appreciated for a quality that they bring to the group.

Reflections and Extensions

Reflections & Extensions

To extend your work around gratitude, we ask that you reflect with a series of questions designed to get you thinking about the areas in your life that bring you joy. We’ve also attached several other classroom exercises to assist in your academic explorations.

Supplemental Materials & Resources 

Additional Resources

We’ve assembled a collection of articles and other resources for further exploration in your classrooms!

Virtues List

A handy printable listing some common virtues–get for your classroom wall!

Contact us

We work with teams of all sizes--and all disciplines--to facilitate experiential creative learning.

Creativity is for everyone.

Creativity is for everyone.