Gratitude Builds Connection

Schools can strengthen students’ connections to teachers, schools and communities. Research done since 2006 suggests there is a free, simple, effective practice that can be placed into existing curriculum across subjects and grade levels: teaching gratitude. Here are some ideas for first steps:

  • Class meetings. Positive Discipline class meetings start with compliments. Often the compliments are a form of appreciation and gratitude. They build connection and empathy, too.IMG_1715
  • A gratitude journal. Have students keep a daily gratitude journal. Studies have shown that this single activity is connected to more optimism and life satisfaction, fewer physical complaints and fewer negative emotions. Journaling ideas might include:
    • Write 3 or 4 things and/or people they are grateful for and why.
    • Write a specific letter of gratitude to a person they have not thanked or appreciated. They could read or send the letter to the person.
    • Respond to prompts, for example, “My day/life is better because __________” or even “I am grateful for chores because ____________”, to encourage them to think more deeply.
    • Share how their family practices gratitude.
  • A gratitude wall. Invite students to share thing that they are grateful for in a designated space on a wall of the classroom. Join them in writing things you are grateful for.

About SoundDiscipline

Teaching people to do the right thing when no one is looking ... Growing equity and democracy, on family, one student, one classroom at a time.
This entry was posted in Connection and love, Growing Responsibility and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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