The Power of Gratitude
Free Thanksgiving Lesson Plans
The act of expressing gratitude moves and touches people deep within the soul! Did you know it is even so powerful that psychologists suggest that simple expressions and thoughts of gratitude have the ability to boost individual well-being and could be the answer to one of life’s greatest questions, what is the key to happiness?
Okay, before I sent you off to download this freebie, let me give you a few more details about how powerful it is to be thankful! Just watch this video...
In sum, gratitude is associated with components essential to survival and crucial to individual well-being including improved happiness and life satisfaction, a decrease in depression symptoms, an increase in quality of life and the strengthening of social bonds (Toussaint & Friedman, 2009; Froh, Bono, & Emmons, 2010; Toepfer, Cichy, and Peters, 2011).
Isn't the power of gratitude amazing! Now it's time for your students to show gratitude! Here are the three gratitude worksheets included:
1) Having a Grateful Mindset
This exercise is all about shifting a negative mindset to one of gratitude. First, ask students to write down 10 things they are thankful for on the provided worksheet. Then challenge students to read the list the next time they are in a bad mood. The idea is that by shifting your mindset to thoughts of gratitude, you will improve your emotional well-being.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
2) 7 Days of Gratitude
This is another awesome exercise. Ask students to take a few minutes each day to write down three to five things for which they are thankful. The daily practice of focusing on what they are grateful for will have a deep impact on their overall happiness and mood
“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.”
3) A Letter of Gratitude
- Step 1) Take a moment to think of someone who has profoundly impacted your life.
- Step 3) Write down your feelings of thanksgiving in a letter (a card, note, email, Facebook message, etc...).
- Step 2) Deliver the letters!
"The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” Henry Ward Beecher
These are simple, yet incredibly powerful activities. Your students can do one or all three! Let me also note, I know expressing gratitude like this can be a little frightening for a student but the impact on their well-being is worth any level of awkwardness! I can't wait to hear about how you used this bundle in your classroom.
The Power of Gratitude Lesson Plans
Download FREE Power of Gratitude lesson plans for your next class!
A middle school health teacher turned curriculum developer (and #WAHM). I'm on a mission to share the easiest-to-teach, most impactful health lesson plans on the Internet. Because your time and energy is better spent on teaching and connecting, not on planning and prep.
Froh, J. J., Bono, G., & Emmons, R. (2010). Being Grateful Is Beyond Good Manners: Gratitude And Motivation To Contribute To Society Among Early Adolescents. Motivation and Emotion, 34(2), 144-157.
Toepfer, S. M., Cichy, K., & Peters, P. (2011). Letters of Gratitude: Further Evidence for Author Benefits. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13(1), 187-201.
Toussaint, L., & Friedman, P. (2009). Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Affect and Beliefs. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10(6), 635-654.