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20 Gratitude Activities for Middle School Students

gratitude activities for middle school

June 21, 2022 //  by  Megan Ellis

The effects of gratitude can be powerful for middle school students. Most middle schoolers still need to be reminded and taught about the power of gratitude, and a gratitude lesson at home or in school can be a great way to help students develop a general sense of thankfulness.

Help middle school students to embrace an attitude of gratitude with these gratitude activities.

1. Gratitude Journal Printable  


Journaling can have a positive impact on students of any age. These gratitude journal printable pages can help students develop a sense of appreciation for things in their lives. Journaling has a positive effect on the mental health of students and can be a powerful exercise in any classroom or at home.

Learn more: Rhythms of Play

2. Roll the Dice Gratitude Game


This gratitude activity not only helps students to think about what they appreciate, it also facilitates conversations about gratitude. In this game, students roll the dice to discover a written prompt meant to evoke feelings of gratitude. They can share positive emotions and experiences with their peers using this fun, interactive game.

Learn more: Playful Notes

3. Gratitude Scavenger Hunt


Middle school students love scavenger hunts. Get them thinking more critically about their surroundings and experiences with this gratitude scavenger hunt. Students can reflect upon the concept of gratitude within their own life in a fun, hands-on, and engaging gratitude activity.

Learn more: Coffee and Carpool

4. Gratitude Cards and Coloring Pages


This classic gratitude exercise makes a great addition to daily gratitude notebooks. Switch up journaling and writing with a reflective coloring piece. These printable gratitude quotes and cards can spark discussion about gratitude while offering an opportunity for self-reflection.

Learn more: Kids Activities Blog

5. Thankfulness Paper Chain 


While this activity is often done around Thanksgiving, it really can be done at any time of year. With an appreciation focus, students create a thankfulness paper chain out of construction paper. Students will develop a sense of gratitude by adding to the colored paper chain in the classroom.

Learn more: Hustle and Homeschool

6. Gratitude Tic-Tac-Toe


This is another gratitude activity that can be tucked away for Thanksgiving time, or used anytime that students are exhibiting negative emotions or going through a difficult time. A fun twist on the classic Tic-Tac-Toe, this game has students reflecting on things in their lives they are grateful for.

Learn more: Paper Heart Family

7. Positivity Journal Graphic Organizers 


This daily record of character and gratitude is perfect for the middle school learner. Filled with gratitude worksheets, there are beautifully designed graphic organizers made to help students process feelings of gratitude and positivity. From a gratitude list to visual representations of positivity, middle schoolers will love reflecting on both positive and negative emotions in this positivity journal.

Learn more: Sunnyday Family

8. Gratitude Rocks


This hands-on, creative painting project offers another way for middle schoolers to share what they are grateful for. Students will enjoy painting visual representations of the things they are grateful for, and you'll end up with beautiful decor for school or home.

Learn more: Very Special Tales

9. Gratitude Conversation Starters 


Use these gratitude conversation starters to foster rich discussion about gratitude in your middle school classroom. These questions and sentence starters can be used for whole-class discussions, small group or partner conversations, or even for individual reflection gratitude journaling.

Learn more: Creative Family Fun

10. Cultivating Gratitude Printables


These gratitude activities and printables are a great way for students to reflect and work through positive and negative emotions while developing a sense of gratitude. These activities include a gratitude challenge and resources for parents and teachers on making gratitude habitual in children and students.

Learn more: Fab Working Mom Life

11. Gratitude Drawing Prompts 


Some students love journaling, while others prefer doodling on a piece of paper. These gratitude drawing prompts help students develop a sense of gratitude in a more creative way that allows for an artistic outlet. Pair these drawing prompts with gratitude journaling prompts to provide options for students of all skill sets.

Learn more: Lasso the Moon

12. Gratitude Garland

gratitude garland

This gratitude garland is one of many appreciation activities that can be done in the classroom or at home. Have students write down what they are thankful for or who they appreciate on colored paper, and hang their submissions around the classroom. This will serve as a great reminder of what they have to be thankful for!

Learn more: Mosswood Connections

13. Gratitude Journal Writing Prompts 


Regular gratitude practice is a skill that is even more beneficial when introduced early on. These gratitude journal prompts are listed with children in mind and provide great starters for reflection to promote authentic gratitude feelings among middle school students.

Learn more: Coffee, Pancakes, and Dreams

14. Gratefulness Brainstorm 


Provide a creative graphic organizer for a writing prompt with this gratefulness brainstorm printable. You can also use it as a stand-alone gratitude activity for a mental health exercise, or just as a means of fostering gratitude in children.

Learn more: Musings from the Middle School

15. m & m Thankful Game


A fun, engaging, AND tasty game for students to practice gratitude. Assign different gratitude prompts to colors of m & ms, and let students choose at random and respond to the discussion starters to have conversations about gratitude!

Learn more: A Thrifty Mom

16. Thank You Notes 


Gratitude letters, better known as thank you notes are a classic representation of gratitude and are a great way to teach students basic gratitude skills. You can use this classic take and write a handwritten note of appreciation, or modify the activity and have students send an email of gratitude.

Learn more: Good Parenting, Brighter Children

17. Thankfulness Wreath 


This thankfulness wreath is a great class project or ongoing project to track individual development of gratitude. Students can show their appreciation of people and the school community by adding colored clothespins to a wire wreath. This visual representation of gratitude can be displayed in the classroom or at home and serve as a reminder of the positive impact people have on one another.

Learn more: Flickr

18. 25-Day Gratitude Challenge


This 25-day gratitude challenge is a great activity for the classroom or at home with your family. For 25 days in a row, be mindful about what you are grateful for and it will help kids to develop a sense of gratitude in children and foster positive emotions. Have discussions about the benefits of gratitude after each challenge.

Learn more: Natural Beach Living

19. 30 Days of Gratitude


Another fun twist on a gratitude challenge is this 30 days of gratitude calendar printable. Make regular gratitude practice a habit with this visual gratitude reminder. Check off the days as you go, and spend a month as a family or classroom being intentional about authentic gratitude.

Learn more: Live Well Play Together

20. Thankful Printable


This thankful printable is another great example of a visual gratitude reminder. Middle schoolers can use the graphic organizer to reflect upon and brainstorm what they are grateful for, and then be creative in coloring and filling in the decorative printable. You can also use this visual as a resource for a daily gratitude entry, and fill in the lines day by day.

Learn more: Paper Trail Designs

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Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

We Are Teachers

31 Meaningful Gratitude Activities for Kids 

From gratitude stones to handwritten letters.

WeAreTeachers Staff

It can be too easy at times to focus on the things that go wrong rather than the things that go right for us. And that can be especially difficult for still-developing brains. Practicing an attitude of gratitude is a skill that students can be taught. Focusing on the things we are grateful for in our lives can help enhance our mood. There is no better time than now to work on gratitude with your students as we head into the Thanksgiving season. Whether you are in the mood for a game, an activity, or a craft project, there is something for everyone on our list of meaningful gratitude activities for kids of all ages.

Gratitude Activities for Kids in Lower Grades

1. gratitude scavenger hunt.

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) Title says Gratitude Nature Scavenger Hunt with a list of items to find.

Print out this fun, gratitude-focused scavenger hunt, then let your students loose to find things that speak to them!

Learn more: All Natural Adventures

2. Thankful Turkey Craft

A turkey craft has several brightly colored photos that have things the student is grateful for written on them.

Encourage students to share what they’re thankful for with this adorable turkey craft made from construction paper.

Learn more: Happiness Is Homemade

3. Pumpkin Pie Spinner

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) A pretend pie says "I am thankful for" there is a slice taken out that spins to reveal different things the student is grateful for.

This gratitude craft looks so good you could practically eat it!

Learn more: The Catholic Toolbox

4. Pickup Sticks: Gratitude Edition

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) A piece of paper has color coded gratitude prompts that match up with colors of the pile of pickup sticks.

A simple yet fun variation on the classic game pickup sticks, students will select a stick and then find the corresponding gratitude prompt.

Learn more: Teach Beside Me

5. A Turkey Puppet Show About Gratitude

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) puppets are made from brown cotton gloves. They are made to look like turkeys with feathers glued to four of the fingers.

Have your students create these adorable turkey puppets and then let them put on a puppet show expressing their gratitude for various things in their lives.

Learn more: Dream a Little Bigger

6. Gratitude Alphabet

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) A sheet has space for students to write something they are grateful for that begins with every letter of the alphabet.

This one will prove challenging since students will be tasked to come up with some unconventional words to express their gratitude.

Learn more: The Keele Deal

7. Gratitude Hopscotch

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) A hopscotch board is drawn on the sidewalk with chalk.

Photo Source: https://www.cslchico.org/kosmic-kids-iam-hopscotch/

A way to practice gratitude while also getting in some physical fitness—yes, please!

Learn more: Counseling Essentials

8. Thankful Turkey Coloring Page

Turkey coloring page.

This fun color-by-number gratitude activity for kids keeps little hands busy and little hearts grateful.

Learn more: Mama Miss

9. Gratitude Garland

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) A garland made of small squares with expressions of gratitude on them are strung together on a string and hung on a mantle.

The longer the garland, the more abundant the gratitude!

Learn more: Teaching Expertise

10. Gratitude Reading

The cover of the book The Thankful Book is shown. Several cartoon children are sitting at a table.

Choose some gratitude-focused books to add to your classroom library, then let students choose which they want to read.

Buy it: The Thankful Book

11. Gratitude Sphere

A twine ball has burlap ornaments hanging from it with things written on them that students are thankful for.

If you love rustic decor, this is the gratitude project for you and your students. Grab a twine ball, some burlap, and some string to get started.

Learn more: Hello, Wonderful

12. Gratitude Drawing Prompts

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) Colored pencils line the bottom of the page. There are a number of gratitude based writing prompts listed.

Have your students complete a different gratitude-based drawing prompt each day.

Learn more: Let’s Lasso the Moon

13. Thankful Turkey Wreath

Thankful turkey wreath with colored paper -- Gratitude Activities for Kids

This colorful Thanksgiving wreath is the perfect craft for reminding kids about the importance of being grateful for everything we have.

Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids

14. Thankfulness Chain

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) Construction paper loops are glued together to form a long chain. Strips of paper are in a basket beside the chains.

We love that all you need to do this project is some construction paper and markers. We also love the nostalgia of making paper chains leading up to holidays.

Learn more: Hustle and Homeschool

15. Thanksgiving Gratitude Game

Thanksgiving gratitude game with m'n'ms

Ask students to list all of the things they are thankful for with this free, cute, and simple printable.

Learn more: Happy Go Lucky Blog

16. Gratitude Tree

(Gratitude Activities for Kids) A construction paper tree has leaves on it that have things students are grateful for on them.

This lovely gratitude tree is easy to make and gives everyone an opportunity to think about being thankful every day.

Learn more: Made With Happy

17. Gratitude Flowers

Gratitude flower with colored paper.

Have students grow a garden of positivity and thankfulness with these beautiful gratitude flowers.

Learn more: Blissful Kids

18. Gratitude Stones

Stones with hearts painted on them -- Gratitude Activities for Kids

This is one of the simplest gratitude activities for kids. Ask them to gather some stones and then paint hearts or thankful words on them. They can then take them home and distribute them around the neighborhood!

Learn more: Fireflies and Mud Pies

19. Thank an Essential Worker

Blank coloring pages with space to write thank you's.

We should be grateful for our essential workers now more than ever. These adorable coloring pages are free to download and print .

Gratitude Activities for Kids in Upper Grades

20. gratitude wall.

A wall with post its is shown. The notes contain things the students are grateful for.

Ask kids to think of one simple thing they are thankful for each night. Then, have them write it on a piece of paper or index card to hang on the wall. You can even have them build a wall at home too!

Learn more: Blog Ulliance

21. Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journal prompts for kids.

Help kids make gratitude a habit with mindful journaling at the end of every day. They can use these free printables and write about any of the prompts included!

22. Gratitude Mobiles

Several mobiles are shown with beads and charms hanging from them including words of gratefulness.

These mobiles are so pretty and unique. Students will enjoy personalizing them with their favorite charms while also including notes of gratitude.

Learn more: Meri Cherry

23. Roll the Dice Gratitude Game

A board has gratitude prompts for each roll of a dice.

This is a fun way for students to express gratitude, and all you’ll need is a printable and some dice!

Learn more: Playful Notes

24. Gratitude Letter/Email

Encourage your students to draft a letter or email of gratitude. This powerful exercise involves kids personally thanking someone for being in their lives. A handwritten letter might feel more meaningful, but a heartfelt email comes close! You may want to set a minimum word count to encourage them to think and dig deeper.

25. Clothespin Gratitude Wreath

A wreath is made of clothespins with things students are grateful for written on it.

We love this fun, collaborative craft since supplies are minimal but the effect is big!

Learn more: Chica and Jo

26. A Jar Full of Thanks

A child sits in a chair beside a highly decorated jar writing on a strip of paper.

This will work for any age group. Have students use a variety of materials to personalize their jars, then have them write something they are grateful for each day and put it inside their jar.

Learn more: Castle View Academy

27. Gratitude Collage/Vision Board

gratitude assignment for students

Students can look through magazines or take their own pictures to create a collage or vision board of things that make them feel thankful.

Learn more: Make a Gratitude Collage

28. Thankful Nature Walk

Encourage students to take a nature walk to appreciate all of the beautiful and amazing things around us that we often take for granted. Take it a step further and have them journal about their experience.

29. Gratitude Pumpkin

A pumpkin is made from strips of construction paper. The strips say "I am thankful for"

These adorable pumpkins will be a breeze for older kids to construct. Plus they will look cute on their desks!

Learn more: The Moffatt Girls

30. Gratitude Conversation Starters

gratitude assignment for students

This is the perfect activity for children of all ages since you can cater the conversation starters to the age of the students. This would make for a great activity for students to do with their families around the dinner table as well!

Learn more: Creative Family Fun

31. Watercolor Gratitude Project

A spiral watercolor project is made with watercolors and there is writing in the spirals that includes what students are grateful for.

This might just be the prettiest gratitude project on this list. Get your watercolors and Sharpies ready and then have your students get to work.

Learn more: The Arty Teacher

What are your favorite gratitude activities for kids? Share in the comments below!

Plus, check out 15 books to teach kids about mindfulness ., want more articles like this be sure to subscribe to our newsletters ..

Want to create a thankful classroom? Here's a list of meaningful gratitude activities for kids that you can use today!

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Making Space for Gratitude: 15 Ideas for Schools During Challenging Times

Thank you heart

Learn how schools can make space for gratitude in the classroom, among staff, and in family partnerships. This article includes strategies, resources, and research on the benefits of gratitude in schools.

On this page

Slideshow: gratitude ideas, ideas for students, ideas for staff, family engagement & gratitude, ideas for the school community, closing thoughts, recommended resources.

In the midst of so many challenges during another school year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, it may seem difficult to start conversations about gratitude in your classroom or school. Yet finding ways to celebrate gratitude and appreciation can be a powerful tool that provides an antidote to the isolation and discord many students have experienced during the pandemic, while also yielding many benefits, such as:

At the same, gratitude can show educators what's working. For example:

The following ideas highlight some ways to shine a spotlight on gratitude, with considerations that will ensure that English language learners (ELLs) and multilingual families are part of these activities.

Additional ideas, including tips for starting a personal gratitude practice, are available in the resources at the end of the article . The resource list also includes information about the research around gratitude in education and the archive of a Twitter chat with ELL educators focused on kindness and gratitude.

An article about gratitude needs a thank-you note! Thank you for all you are doing to support students, families, and your school communities during this difficult time.

1. Introduce the concept of gratitude and related vocabulary words.

Share your ideas & activities.

We'd love to hear about how you celebrate gratitude or any activities inspired by this article!

Share your updates and photos (no student photos, please) at:

Before starting a gratitude activity:

You may wish to invite students to teach their classmates how to say "thank you" in their home languages. Talk with them about this beforehand, however, so as not to put students on the spot.

In addition, share models of sentence frames, messages, and notes that you might use in the activities below, such as:

Thank you for _______________.

___________ helped me by _______________.

I would like to express my gratitude for... 

Tiffany Gordon, an ELL specialist and WIDA Fellow , color codes her sentence frames so that students know what they are reaching for in terms of language.  

Video: Using sentence frames with ELLs

ESOL specialist Sheila Majdi from Arlington, VA explains what a sentence frame is and how she might use this strategy with ELLs.

2. Ask students to brainstorm examples of kindness and gratitude.

Ask students for examples of kindness and gratitude that they might see in their lives. You can also ask them to brainstorm on topics such as "How to welcome a new student."  You may also wish to talk about how to welcome visitors to the classroom, as this class had done before ELL expert Beth Skelton arrived in the room. She writes, "I was the recipient of such a welcome in a 5th grade class. I walked in for an observation and a student stood up, shook my hand, welcomed me to the class, showed me to an empty chair, and offered me a glass of water!"

Teacher Ashley Singh shares examples of kindness from her classroom including, "The friendship my students have for each other. When we have a new student, the way they stand together and help them adjust to our school. The quiet encouragement in class. Waiting for each other at their lockers. Explaining the cafeteria food." And some schools are hosting Kindness Clubs to help spread kindness around the building.

3. Talk about gratitude during circle time or advisory period.

One way to start conversations about gratitude in the classroom is to make it the focus of circle time or discussions during homeroom or advisory periods. Some topics could include the following:

Can you think of a time when…

You could also do a series of conversations with different themes each day during a "Gratitude Week" to explore the topic more in-depth.

Project idea

Using student responses, you might wish to create a " thankful tree ," inspired by Daniel Tiger's " Thank You Day " story and episode.

Video: Finding a new friend after Hurricane Maria

When Nelson Rodriguez left Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, he quickly found a new friend in his teacher in Syracuse, NY, Jesus Ortiz. In this special video, they both remember the day they met and talk about the bond they formed.

4. Use writing prompts.

Use the prompts from activity #1 in a writing activity. Students could try different options based on their level of language proficiency:

To support students' writing:

Video: Brainstorming a journal assignment with high school ELLs

Learn how high school ELL teacher Michelle Lawrence guides her students through the brainstorming process as they prepare to write a journal.

5. Write thank-you notes.

An additional extension activity is to write thank-you notes with your students. For example, students can write a thank-you note for:

Sharing sample letters

Share examples of real thank you notes you have received with students, and then share a template that students can use so they can become familiar with the format. Here is a very basic example:

Thank you for ______. This helped me because _____.

Educator voices

Here are some personal examples resources that ELL educators shared in a Twitter chat on kindness and gratitude.

6. Set up an appreciation station.

This is a great way to shine a spotlight on positive things that are happening in the classroom or beyond. You could set up a board (either in the classroom or online) where students can post thank-you notes to their classmates and teachers. These could be posted on colorful post-it notes or note cards. Students can add to the board over time whenever they think of a new example to add. Examples might include:

This blog post from Engaging and Effective shares ideas for creating an appreciation station, while teacher Maggie Gillis shares how she put together a gratitude wall in her classroom. Angela Singh writes, "My school started a 'Fishbowl' where students and teachers can write down acts of kindness they see other students perform or things they appreciate about other students/teachers so that we can celebrate everyone in our school community."

Note: Talk with students about the importance of treating this activity, and their school community, with respect. Let them know that any inappropriate notes will be removed.

7. Set up appreciation mailboxes.

In this activity, each student creates an envelope, folder, or "mailbox" in which classmates can leave an anonymous note of appreciation, such as, "You are a good soccer player," or "Thank you for making me laugh."  The point is to find something positive for each person in the class. This can be a one-time activity, or something that is set up for much of the year (after students have gotten to know each other better). Again, it's important to stress the importance of respect with students before starting this activity or the activity below.

8. Create appreciation webs.

Another variation on the above idea is an appreciation web. Each student writes their name in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. Students then pass their papers in one direction and each student writes something they appreciate about the student whose paper they have in front of them. Then students pass the papers again until all students have contributed to each student's paper.

9. Share things you appreciate about your students with them.

Telling students what you appreciate about them can build confidence and give students things to appreciate about each other. Different ways to do this include creating a chart displaying something you appreciate about each student, or this educator's strategy of noticing great things about a few students each day, making a note of them, and then sharing them with the students.

Another option is to put sticky notes on student lockers with a kind message or note of appreciation, as shown in this school photo . And one teacher shared an idea on Twitter in which students had to "sneak" clothespins onto classmates' backpacks with positive notes on them.

10. Use appreciation as part of instruction and activities.

gratitude assignment for students

And first-grade teacher Amanda Tokko at Salina Elementary School created a kindness club called the Wildcat Kindness Club that focused on third graders. For example, during the month of teacher appreciation, the club took a cart full of goodies (pictured here) around to classrooms to pass out to teachers.

11. Read a story about gratitude.

gratitude assignment for students

The books on Colorín Colorado's Stories About Gratitude booklist highlight gratitude and appreciation across a variety of settings and cultures. These will make great read-alouds and for discussion.

You may also wish to look at a title like Be Kind from Language Lizard, which is available in multiple languages.

12. Make space for gratitude and appreciation among the staff.

Highlighting gratitude and appreciation among staff members, especially during yet another taxing school year, can make a big difference in the staff dynamics. While it may take time for some staff members to warm up to this idea, sincere expressions of gratitude can go a long way in contributing to more collaboration, and as teaching coach Elena Aguilar writes, a more positive school culture .

Here are some ideas:

In the same way that sharing success stories and celebrations among staff can lead to "a-ha" moments, this can also inspire some creative thinking and highlights some important contributions that might otherwise be overlooked.

Video: How thanking awakens thinking

Dr. Kerry Howells, a researcher specializing in gratitude and education, suggests that the key to creating fully engaged learners is to create an attitude of gratitude.

13. Look for ways to emphasize gratitude in school-family partnerships.

There are many ways to make gratitude the focus of school-family partnerships. Here are some ideas you can try. Remember that all communication with multilingual families should happen in families' home languages and that families have a right to information in their home language.

You can also invite families to:

14. Share success stories related to families.

Another way to harness gratitude in support of family engagement is to ask staff to share their own experiences with families related to appreciation. This might be things that families have appreciated, or it might be things that staff members have appreciated about families. This can highlight what families appreciate and value and also give other staff members some ideas on what to try.

Video: Helping families with food insecurity during COVID-19

Barbara Alicea, a bilingual family advocate for Brockton Public Schools (MA), talks about the challenges of food insecurity during COVID-19 — and the lengths her families have gone to show their appreciation for her hard work.

15. Consider a school-wide gratitude campaign.

If you want to go big, you might try a school-wide campaign to highlight gratitude in different classrooms and spaces throughout the school. For example, you could:

You can even share your experience with other schools or the local media to highlight the impact the gratitude campaign is having. This might just inspire others to do the same!

Gratitude can be transformational, and small acts and message of gratitude can ripple outwards in big ways. Start small and build on your successes — now and all throughout the year!

Classroom strategies

Gratitude in the classroom: Resources from Edutopia

Personal gratitude practices

Gratitude resources for families

Random Acts of Kindness

Research on gratitude & education

For additional ideas and examples, see the archive of this Twitter chat on Talking About the Importance of Kindness and Gratitude with ELLs .

More by this author

10 Strategies for Building Relationships with ELLs

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13 Most Popular Gratitude Exercises & Activities

A List of 26 Gratitude Exercises, Activities, Worksheets, Games, and Ideas

Showing gratitude is sometimes a required or expected thing, but at other times, a spontaneous “thank you” to someone who has unknowingly made our day. On most occasions, we show gratitude to bring the good feelings we have been gifted back to the gifter.

While it is admirable to want to share our gratitude and good feelings with others, we rarely stop to think about what giving others our gratitude does for us.

As it turns out, it does quite a lot for our brains and mental wellbeing.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Gratitude Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients connect to more positive emotions and enjoy the benefits of gratitude.

This Article Contains:

13 most popular gratitude exercises and activities.

2 Gratitude Quizzes and Questionnaires

Handy gratitude worksheets, examples of gratitude interventions for adults, 4 gratitude lesson ideas for teachers, gratitude games and ideas for kids, how to develop your own gratitude ritual, gratitude apps that help you stick to it.

A Take-Home Message

Research shows that gratitude can (Morin, 2014):

The Benefits of Gratitude

With all of these benefits to practicing gratitude, your next question is probably “How do I do it?”

If so, you’re in luck! Read on to discover some of the most popular exercises and activities for this, as well as tips to cultivate your own gratitude practice.

gratitude exercises happiness

However, it can be tough to get started without practical ideas. These gratitude exercises and activities are some of the most well-known and proven ways to practice and enhance your gratitude.

1. Journaling

Writing down a few things you are grateful for is one of the easiest and most popular exercises available.

The purpose of the exercise is to reflect on the past day, few days, or week, and remember 3-5 things you are especially grateful for. In this way, you are focusing on all the good things that happened to you in a given set of time.

What is the appropriate amount of journaling one should do per week? Some people propose doing it every day while others suggest once per week. The arguments against doing it every day are that it can be tedious and forced. It becomes a practice you feel you should do or need to do instead of something you want to do.

When journaling becomes a banal task and not an enjoyable practice then you need to adjust the amount of journaling you do.

Besides the benefit of focusing on the wonderful things, this practice actually can increase your quality of sleep, decrease symptoms of sickness, and increase joy (Marsh, 2011).

It is important to cater your practice to what you need. Perhaps journaling every day for a short amount of time works for you, but over time, it feels better to journal every Friday.

Paying attention to what you are grateful for becomes easier as you practice it.

Imagine your life without the things or people that matter to you, before you begin writing. That should definitely boost your gratitude barometer.

2. Gratitude Jar

The gratitude jar is a stunningly simple exercise that can have profound effects on your wellbeing and outlook. It only requires a few ingredients: a jar (a box can also work); a ribbon, stickers, glitter, or whatever else you like to decorate the jar; paper and a pen or pencil for writing your gratitude notes; and gratitude!

Step 1: Find a jar or box.

Step 2: Decorate the jar however you wish. You can tie a ribbon around the jar’s neck, put stickers on the sides, use clear glue and glitter to make it sparkle, paint it, keep it simple, or do whatever else you can think of to make it a pleasing sight.

Step 3: This is the most important step, which will be repeated every day. Think of at least three things throughout your day that you are grateful for. It can be something as benign as a coffee at your favorite place, or as grand as the love of your significant other or dear friend. Do this every day, write down what you are grateful for on little slips of paper and fill the jar.

Over time, you will find that you have a jar full of a myriad of reasons to be thankful for what you have and enjoy the life you are living. It also will cultivate a practice of expressing thanks.

If you are ever feeling especially down and need a quick pick-me-up, take a few notes out of the jar to remind yourself of who, and what, is good in your life.

3. Gratitude Rock

gratitude rock gratitude exercises

This exercise may sound a little silly. You may be thinking, “A rock? How can a rock help me practice gratitude?”

The secret to this exercise is that the rock is a symbol, a physical object you can use, to remind yourself of what you have.

The instructions are about as simple as instructions can be: just find a rock!

Make sure to pick one you like, whether you like it because it’s pretty because it is smooth or has an interesting texture, or because you picked it up from a special place. If you have another small object you’d rather use instead, feel free to substitute that for the rock.

Carry this rock around in your pocket, leave it on your desk where you will see it throughout your day, or even wear it on a chain around your neck or your wrist.

Whenever you see it or touch it, pause to think about at least one thing you are grateful for. Whether it’s something as small as the sun shining down on you in this moment or as large as the job that allows you to feed yourself or your family, just think of one thing that brings you joy or fulfillment.

When you take the stone out of your pocket or off of your body at the end of the day, take a moment to remember the things that you were grateful for throughout the day. When you put it on or in your pocket again in the morning, repeat this process to remember what you were grateful for yesterday.

Not only will this help you remember the things you are grateful for, but also it can trigger a mini-mindfulness moment in your day. It will bring you out of your head and into the present moment, giving you something to focus your attention on. It can also act as a switch to more positive thinking.

When you flip this switch multiple times a day, you will likely find that your average day has become much more positive.

4. Gratitude Tree

The gratitude tree is a great activity for children, and it can also be effective for adults who are open to experiencing a childlike sense of fun and wonder. You will need several double-sided colored sheets of paper, string or ribbon, scissors, twigs or tree branches, some stones or marbles, a vase, and a sense of gratitude.

Step 1: Make one or more leaf cutouts to use as a template for your leaves.  Trace leaves on your colored paper.

Step 2: Cut out the leaves, punch a hole at the top of each leaf, and loop your string or ribbon through each hole.

Step 3: Put the stones or marbles in a vase and stick the tree branch or twig in the middle.

Step 4: Have your (or your child) draw or write things that you (or your child) are grateful for on the leaves. You can also use photographs if you’d like.

Step 5: Hang the leaves from the branches, and behold your gratitude tree!

This activity is easy and results in a pretty reminder of the things that bring you or your child joy throughout your daily life. It may be intended for kids but there is no age limit on finding creative ways to cultivate your gratitude, so get to drawing!

Here’s a quick how-to video on the gratitude tree:

5. Gratitude Garden

The gratitude garden activity is a good activity to follow creating gratitude trees. This is also intended for children, but adults can certainly follow along to get into the gratitude spirit.

Follow these steps to journey to the gratitude garden(All Done Monkey, 2012).

gratitude graden gratitude exercises

Going through each of these negative emotions can be a fun and interactive learning opportunity for kids. For older children (or young-minded adults!), you can even add in a few other, more complex negative emotions, like the “Disgusted Dock” or the “Petty Pier.”

To read these instructions, click here .

6. Gratitude Box

The gratitude box is a thoughtful way to share your feelings with loved ones and cultivate your own sense of gratitude.

This is another easy activity that requires only a box, some paper, and a pen or pencil to write down gratitude messages. You can make the box yourself or buy one, the prettier the better!

On the paper, write down a heartfelt message of gratitude to your loved one. If you’re not sure how to start, here are some suggestions to begin your message:

1) “Thank you for…”

2) “What I love about you…”

3) “My holiday wish for you…”

You can also collect messages from others about your loved one, to pack the box with multiple messages of gratitude and love.

Place the message(s) into the box, wrap it up or put a bow on it, and give it to your loved one as a special gift, to both your loved one and yourself.

Read more about gratitude boxes here .

7. Gratitude Prompts

Gratitude prompts are a great way to get started, continue your practice, or kick-start a stalled gratitude practice. This is also a relatively simple exercise, with only one instruction: fill in the blank!

These prompts provide several ways to begin a gratitude statement, with infinite possibilities for completion. They cover multiple senses, colors, people, and things. The goal is to identify at least three things in each category that you are thankful for.

The prompts include:

This simple exercise is a great way to identify all the things you are grateful for. To see all of the categories and examples for each category, click here .

8. Gratitude Amble

gratitude walk gratitude exercises

When you are going through a particularly rough time, try cleansing your mind with a gratitude walk. Just as the combination of meditation and gratitude can combat stress or increase feelings of wellbeing, walking with a gratitude focal point can offer the same remedy.

Walking is therapeutic in itself.

It has health benefits like increased endorphins that decrease stress, increased heart health, and circulation in the body, decreased lethargy, and decreases in blood pressure. Couple this activity with a grateful state of mind and you are bound to nurture a positive mind and body (Rickman 2013).

The goal of the gratitude walk is to observe the things you see around you as you walk. Take it all in. Be aware of nature, the colors of the trees, the sounds the birds make, and the smell of the plants. Notice how your feet feel when you step onto the ground.

The effects are more potent when you can enjoy a gratitude walk with your partner or a friend. In this way, you can show them an appreciation for being able to spend the time walking together.

9. Gratitude Reflection

Reflection is an important part of mindfulness meditation and the cultivation of a sense of self-awareness. These practices can lead to an enhanced sense of wellbeing, among other benefits, although enhanced wellbeing is enough of a benefit for most of us.

To practice gratitude reflection, follow these steps (Still Mind, 2014):

10. Gratitude Flower

gratitude flower gratitude exercises

Start by cutting out a circle from colored paper. Yellow is a popular color for this piece since it will be the center of the flower.

On the circle, write “Things I’m Thankful For” or write your name or family name, or even an overarching thing you’re grateful for (i.e., “my family”).

Next, use a template or freehand cut to create flower petals. You can use several different colors for a bright and vibrant flower, or the same color for a more uniform looking flower.

On the flower petals, write down things you are grateful for. These can be things like the sunny weather, having wonderful parents, or a promotion at work.

Glue or tape these petals to the center to create a flower. This is your gratitude flower!

11. Gratitude Letter or Email / Gratitude Visit

writing a gratitude letter email

Be detailed. Express all the wonderful qualities about this person, and how they personally have affected your life for the better.

If you have the time personally deliver this letter to the person yourself.

Do it unexpectedly. Your level of gratitude should skyrocket, as you observe the bliss the receiver gets from your generous act. It will probably be one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive.

The positive effects of this gratitude exercise were researched and carried out by Kent State professor Steve Toepfer, associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies.

In his 2007 study, his undergraduate students experienced enhanced levels of life satisfaction and happiness, as well as decreased symptoms of depression. Toepfer’s goal of this study was to determine the psychological benefits, if any, for the authors of these gratitude letters (Vincent, 2007).

The results of this study are quite straightforward. If you wish to increase your gratitude and happiness levels then intentionally script letters to inspiring people in your life.

If you are feeling down and maybe even depressed, you should most certainly give this practice a try. For an even further joy boost hand deliver your letter to the receivers so you can witness the receiver’s reactions for yourself.

This activity can be either an email or a letter which you can send off in the mail or deliver personally.

Think about a person who has recently done something good for you, to whom you have not yet expressed your gratitude. This person may be a friend, family member, coworker, teacher, or mentor.

Try to pick someone who you can visit within the next week if you are practicing the visit component.

Next, write them an email or letter. Use these guidelines to write an effective and grateful letter:

If you are writing an email or a letter to be mailed, go through the letter to make sure it is clear and you get the intended message across. Hit the “send” button or drop it in a mailbox.

If you are delivering your letter in person via a gratitude visit, follow these steps:

If you are located far away from this person, you can arrange a phone call or video chat instead.

12. Meditation

gratitude meditation

Meditation isn’t always easy especially when the mind is aggressively wandering and distracting your attention, but if you practice this kind of mediation consistently be prepared to experience incredible upgrades in gratitude and joy.

Unlike a normal meditation where intentionally become aware of your breath and keep your mind clear, during a gratitude meditation you visualize all the things in your life that you are grateful for.

It is important to give each person or item the concentration it deserves. You can take the time to go through all the people you are grateful for or all the physical objects you are grateful for.

I like to simplify this sometimes and show gratitude for the things that are often taken for granted: the ability to breath, hands to touch, eyes to see, legs to walk and run, etc. There are numerous advantages to meditating. These advantages magnify when you take the time to target your reasons for gratitude.

Spend some time really taking stock of the things you are grateful for and I am certain you will feel much better afterward. It is a powerful exercise.

13. Collage

This is similar to the gratitude journal, except you are going to take pictures of all the things you are grateful for. This gives you the opportunity to visualize your gratitude.

Try taking a picture of one thing you are grateful for every day for a week. Notice how you feel. Take a look back at the pictures every week. You don’t have to find grandiose things to be grateful for. A simple picture of a flower will do.

The more you do this the easier it will be for you to spot out the things you are grateful for. You will no longer take these simple things for granted.

Perhaps you will document multiple pictures in a day. After a given time period put all your pictures together in a collage and simply be grateful for all that you have.

A Gratitude Trick That Marie Forleo Learned from Robert Emmons

The following video shows the results of a USC study where students kept a gratitude journal for 10 weeks. Watch what happened when the three groups had different prompts—and results.

If one of the three prompts mentioned in the video resonate with you, why not give it a try? If not for 10-weeks, for two weeks? You might be surprised with the slow and steady benefits this simple tip brings.

Gratitude Exercise: The Can of Beans

The following gratitude exercise was invented by Seph Fontane Pennock. For this exercise you’re going to need:

Many of us can buy a can of white beans without thinking much, let alone the food many of us are fortunate to put into our bodies. For this exercise, we invite you to have a meal of a can of beans. Nothing else that night. Just the beans.

There’s no warming them up or pouring the beans into a nice cup. That beats the purpose of the exercise. You simply grab a spoon, open up the can, imagine you’re sitting around the campfire at the foot of the Sierra Madra, and dig in.

What is the purpose of the exercise?

The purpose of this gratitude exercise is to realize and appreciate what we have. Appreciation. It can make you realize that every day, you are able to eat all sorts of foods, flown or shipped in from all over the world for you to eat. It is quite extraordinary if you think about it, but it can be easy to take for granted for those who have food security.

During this exercise, you may start to compare the beans that you’re eating with other meals you crave. This allows you to take a moment and appreciate those usual foods, and how they fuel you.

The benefits:

Performing this gratitude exercise once a week:

The most powerful thing about this gratitude exercise is its simplicity. Performing this exercise is easier than its alternative, which means cooking up a whole meal (and ending up with the dishes).

What about your spouse or kids?

In case you are living with someone or if you have kids, you’re going to have more of a challenge in performing this exercise.

You can either explain the exercise to them and invite them to join you if they wish (it’s important that they decide to do so themselves), or do the exercise on one of those evenings that you don’t get to eat together with your family or spouse.

Looking for a quick way to assess how grateful you are? These quizzes and questionnaires are readily available on the internet.

thank you heart - Gratitude and Well-Being: The Benefits of Appreciation

Try one of the following worksheets.

Gratitude Exercises

This handout describes several useful gratitude exercises, some of which are included above, in a short paragraph. Consider this your master list of the best gratitude exercises with a quick and easy explanation.

You can find this worksheet here .

To learn about these gratitude exercises in more detail, try the worksheets below.

Gratitude Journal

This worksheet is a quick and easy way to document the things you are grateful for each day. It begins by noting that keeping a journal helps to improve your mood. The worksheet then instructs the user to write at least three entries for each day.

This simple worksheet lists each day of the week with five sections of blank space to fill out with things that make you grateful. Gratitude Journal

Why I’m Grateful Worksheet

This simple worksheet helps you find things you are grateful for, complete with prompts to get you started. These prompts cover multiple areas of life and dive deeper into your sense of gratitude.

Instead of just helping you identify what you are grateful for, this worksheet digs into why you are grateful.

Simply fill in the blanks on this worksheet to discover more to be grateful for in your life! Click here to use this worksheet.

Gratitude Letter

Produced by Allina Health, this sheet looks at ‘overlooked blessings’ and reflections on positive things about the individual’s health and body, activities they enjoy, and relationships they are grateful for.

Finally, the worksheet prompts individuals to write a gratitude letter .

Daily Gratitude

This worksheet provides a template for a daily gratitude journal, with room to record three things in the last 24 hours the client is thankful for, and three things that they are looking forward to in the next 24 hours.

Gratitude Journal Activity

This provides a gratitude journal activity creating a list of 100 things an individual is grateful for by completing 5 mini-lists, each containing 20 lines. For example, the prompt for the first list is to “list 20 things that you are grateful worked out for you…evidence that the universe is on your side.”

Many of the gratitude exercises described above have been used in interventions to increase gratitude, with varying results. Check out the following studies.

Gratitude as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention

A paper by Robert A. Emmons and Robin Stern (Emmons & Stern, 2013) describes how gratitude can have a positive impact on patients and clients in therapeutic relationships.

The authors also outline several different methods of applying gratitude interventions to adults, including keeping a journal. The article includes a case study of a woman facing severe stress and multiple challenges in her life.

Susanna was suffering from thoughts of leaving her marriage, her husband’s motorcycle accident, the reveal of an extramarital affair on the part of her husband, and finding out that her husband had been hiding a gambling addiction that had nearly bankrupted them.

Susanna’s therapist worked with Susanna to develop a course of treatment that heavily incorporated gratitude. Her therapist encouraged Susanna to reflect on all of the things she had to be grateful for and helped her “self-right” her perspective to truly appreciate each moment in her daily life while building a new life that better suited her strengths, weaknesses, and her circumstances.

This treatment improved Susanna’s ability to function and helped her to remain emotionally available to her children and more self-aware.

The authors end by noting the ways that gratitude interventions differ from most other types of interventions.

First, the prosocial and relational nature of gratitude can build unique pathways to happiness and wellbeing. Gratitude is also a fulfilling practice, facilitating an appreciation of both the current moment and one’s past.

There is much evidence that gratitude interventions result in many positive benefits, and that incorporating gratitude into therapy can help clients and patients realize these benefits.

Using a Gratitude Intervention to Enhance Wellbeing in Older Adults

This study (Killen & Macaskill, 2015) utilized the “three good things” exercise to enhance gratitude in adults 60 years and older. This exercise involves writing down three good things you have to be grateful for each day, generally at night.

The study was conducted on a group of 88 healthy adults aged 60 or over and lasted for 45 days. Results showed that this gratitude intervention improved wellbeing via flourishing , at multiple points throughout the duration of the study. Perceived stress also decreased over the first 15 days.

This intervention was effective whether administered via paper or online and showed that gratitude journaling can have a significant positive effect on older adults.

Gratitude and Wellbeing: The Benefits of Appreciation

Person Practicing Gratitude

The authors describe several studies that have provided evidence of a link between these two constructs.

For example, the authors describe three journaling methods for investigating these effects undertaken by gratitude researchers Emmon and McCullough, including one group that journaled about negative events or hassles in life, one group that journaled about things they were grateful for, and one group that journaled about neutral life events.

The group focusing on things they were grateful for reported significantly higher wellbeing than the other two groups.

Another study pitted a group who completed the “counting one’s blessings” exercise, in which participants wrote about things they were grateful for or for which they felt blessed at the end of each week, against a group who identified challenges or hassles in life and a control group. Those who counted their blessings seemed to experience a boost in wellbeing.

The authors conclude that gratitude can be an effective way to enhance wellbeing, and suggest several exercises that can be used as interventions in therapy, including:

To read about these examples and learn how to measure gratitude, you can read the paper here .

People who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions and less envy, sleep better, extend more compassion and kindness to others, and even have a stronger immune function (Allen, 2018).

Consistent practice is required for neuroplasticity to occur (Kini et al., 2016). Regular gratitude practice works because it slowly changes how we perceive situations by modifying what we focus on (Kini et al., 2016). Rather than constantly focusing on what we do not have, we learn to focus on what we do have.

Here are some ways how you can practice gratitude:

1. Journaling : Reflect and write down three to five things you are grateful for daily, every few days, or every week.

2. Gratitude jar : Write down things you are grateful for on little slips of paper and fill them in a jar. If you need a quick pick-me-up, take a few notes out of the jar to remind yourself of what is good in your life.

3. Gratitude rock: Find a stone you like, carry it with you, and leave it in sight. Whenever you see it or touch it, pause to think about at least one thing you are grateful for.

4. Gratitude walk: Take a walk with the intention of observing the things you see around you. Take it all in. You can even do this together with a loved one.

5. Gratitude letter : Write a hand-written letter to a person you are particularly grateful to have in your life. Be detailed. Express all their beautiful qualities and how they have improved your life.

6. Gratitude meditation: Unlike a regular meditation, where you notice your breath and keep your mind clear, during a gratitude meditation, you visualize all the things in your life that you are grateful for.

gratitude assignment for students

The modern classroom sees teachers educating about far more than literacy and numeracy. Social and emotional learning is now incorporated into the curriculum. Teaching gratitude provides students with powerful life-skills. Here are some resources to utilize in planning gratitude lessons.

1. What is Gratitude?

After an initial ‘activation of thinking’ exercise, brainstorm about gratitude. Then, students can watch a video , such as Gratitude HD, Moving Art on YouTube, and jot down reflections from it on post-it notes. Then, in pairs, students work through guiding questions and the teacher introduces a book that is age-appropriate.

After the story, in pairs, have students discuss what they noticed in the book, what they connected with, and what they are thankful for.

Use photos, calendar images or Visual Talking Cards to provide a starting point for a discussion about gratitude and sharing knowledge among the class. Before closing the lesson, use an ABC Brainstorm Template (available from the link provided below) to generate a list of things students are grateful for.

Find the lesson idea here at its source (Heart-Mind online, 2014).

2. Acts of Kindness (Grades K – 2)

This lesson is designed for students to be given the opportunity to identify ways that they have acted with kindness and caring towards others.

Firstly, provide an explanation to the class about feeling grateful and have a discussion. Then, have the students close their eyes and visualize someone they have been kind to or helped, and to recall how this made them feel as well as what the other person said or did.

Ask students to open their eyes and share what they visualized. Then, ask students to draw a picture of what they visualized and write a caption to go with it. Alternatively, students could write a short paragraph about it.

To extend this lesson, older students could be encouraged to record times when they show kindness to others, the reasons why they did, and how they feel, in a gratitude journal. Or, the class could be prompted to talk about an act of kindness they could do for someone in the school and the teacher can help them put this into action.

3. Food Gratitude (Grades 3 – 5)

Fruit and Gratitude Exercise with Kids.

The class lists as many different fruits as they can. Then, they vote on which fruit is the favorite fruit for most people in the class.

Guide students through a visualization of all of the people or resources who made it possible for them to enjoy this fruit.

In groups of four, students discuss the visualization and on a large piece of paper, draw all of the people, tools and natural elements necessary to produce the fruit. As students draw, discuss the many people involved in the process of making the fruit available, and prompt the class to think about how they would show gratitude to all of the people—they then add this to the drawing.

The following day, bring in some of the fruit that the students selected (being sure no student is allergic) and ask them to think of all of the properties of the fruit and reflect upon all the people involved in its production.

Finally, before the class enjoys eating the fruit, invite them to recall the expressions of gratitude that they wrote on the drawings and to feel that gratitude.

4. People Who Made a Difference (Grades 6 – 8)

This exercise is designed to help students understand that they can feel gratitude to people whose actions benefit the whole of society and these benefits can last for centuries.

Students identify a historical figure who did something that they feel grateful for. Then, helps students visualize the person, what it would be like to be with them, and the sense of gratitude the student has. Following this, students write an essay looking into what the person did that they were grateful for, and consider the intention and motives of the person.

Students should also think about the ‘cost’ of the figure’s actions, not only in terms of money but more general personal sacrifices. Ask students to reflect upon how they have benefited from the person’s actions and how the whole of society may have benefited.

To conclude the lesson, the class can present brief summaries of the historical figure they researched.

Here are the original sources for Lesson Plans 2-4 above (Zakrzewski, 2016).

By now, you’re probably thinking about all the good things that can happen when gratitude is incorporated into one’s life. This is particularly true for children and using gratitude to boost resilience, enhance wellbeing, and encourage a positive outlook on life.

7 Tips for Fostering Gratitude

This piece describes seven ways to encourage the development of gratitude in children.

These tips include:

More information on cultivating a sense of gratitude in children can be found here .

Gratitude in the Classroom

gratitude in classroom children

For many more classroom gratitude ideas, visit this website .

Gratitude Exercises for Children

The website www.blissfulkids.com also provides popular gratitude exercises that can help develop gratitude in children.

The top three gratitude exercises according to Chris Bergstrom and Blissful Kids are:

1. The Gratitude Journal. Provide your child with a journal and encourage them to write down five things they are grateful for each day. Bedtime is a great time to practice this exercise since children will have the whole day from which to choose what to write about.

2. The ABCs of Gratitude. Have your child sit comfortably and close their eyes. Tell them to list things they are grateful for, beginning with “A” and working all the way through the alphabet to “Z.” Don’t be surprised if this exercise gets a little silly—it’s bound to get silly at some point, so just embrace it and enjoy the laughter with your child!

3. Bedtime Thank Yous. This can be incorporated into the gratitude journal or practiced as a standalone exercise. Help your child to think of happy things that happened to them during their day. They can simply say these things aloud, write them down in their journal, draw a picture of them, or simply think of them. This exercise can ensure that your child drifts off to sleep with a heart full of love and gratitude.

Creating a gratitude ritual can be tough, just as starting any new habit can be difficult to stick with at first. Like most other practices, the more you do it, the easier it will get.

Try these tips to help you cultivate a fulfilling and impactful gratitude ritual (Rodrigues, 2017):

The popular website www.tinybuddha.com also provides several useful suggestions on implementing and sticking to a gratitude ritual.

Their steps are as follows (Russell, 2016):

How to Develop Your Own Gratitude Ritual

The popular dating website eharmony also provides tips on how to cultivate gratitude, especially in the context of dating and relationships. They suggest four steps (Libby, 2016):

These rituals are (Libby, 2016):

Sometimes, even when we know all of the right steps and have all of the right tips, practicing regular gratitude can be difficult. This is where an app can help! Try one of the gratitude apps described below to help you keep a regular gratitude practice.

1. Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journal app

This app is available through iTunes here .

2. Gratitude Garden App

Gratitude garden app

You can also receive gratitude cards, which contain suggestions for further actions that can increase gratitude and happiness.

This app is free, and you can download it on iTunes here .

3. Grateful: A Gratitude Journal

Grateful app

Available here from iTunes .

4. Happyfeed


The more you use this app, the more valuable it becomes.

Head here to get the app.

6 Podcasts Focused on Gratitude

Podcasts are a convenient way to hear from experts, and can also be a good use of time such as when on public transport. There are some available on the topic of gratitude. Here they are…

I hope you have found this piece useful. I’m grateful for you, as a reader, who took the time to process some of these ideas.

The “gratitude muscle” is like any other muscle, in that it must be flexed periodically to remain strong.

Return to this page whenever you need a reminder about why gratitude is important to practice, or suggestions on how to boost your own sense of gratitude. Visit the section on developing gratitude in children to encourage your own children, clients, or students to commit to a lifetime of gratitude and happiness .

Thank you for reading, and please be sure to find at least three things to be grateful for today.

Do you have a regular gratitude practice? Are there other gratitude exercises that work for you? Please let us know in the comments section below.

We love hearing from you!

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Gratitude Exercises for free .

For further reading, we suggest:

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What our readers think.


My sincere thanks to the team who shared with us this innovative piece. It is amazing to learn and realize how a small exercise of gratitude would uplift the mood and once soul altogether.


Excellent post and a great ideas for teaching gratitude. We’re a homeschooling family ourselves that place a strong emphasis on teaching gratitude.

In addition to using wall mural gratitude trees, we developed this game to help teach gratitude in case you’d like to share: https://naturallygrateful.com/gratitude-attitude-game/


I keep a gratitude diary on my calendar of what I’m grateful to God for. As the month or months progress if I’m feeling down I go through it & realize just how much He has done for me & how God & Jesus Christ helped me find comfort. I know this is a psychology based site but in addiction rehab they talk about a higher power.So now you know how I cope daily @ times or monthly.


Thank you so much! This has everything I need for my Gratitude practice and more!! Love it, I have book marked it and will be visiting here often…

Nicole Celestine

Hi Sreeja, Glad you found the exercises useful. We have more exercises in the form of journaling prompts available in this post if you are interested. Best of luck with your gratitude practice! – Nicole | Community Manager


Valuable info. Lucky me I found your web site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

Kerry Ann Sugden

He wouldn’t talk to me so I got worse with him. I would say nasty thing to via the internet. I got so annoyed with last we for send heaps of picture message. this guy has heaps of women on his list and I wonder is he doing the same thing to them. I hate been ignored. I like to talk things out. He doesn’t want to at all. He has a alcohol problem as well. But he won”t admitted it at all. He is well educated in Economic and Fianance Risk Management. I won’t to know how to deal with my anger problems toward or other people in my life. Where can I get some help on this ?


Hi, this is a great post. Thank you for sharing.

Vismaya Rubin

Thank you for all the ideas and resources. I am excited to listen to the gratitude podcasts. One thing I share with my clients is to give themselves a break. When I first started consciously practicing gratitude, I thought I had to be grateful and happy every minute of the day. Not so. It’s perfectly normal to experience both positive and negative emotions. The more I consciously look for what I am grateful for, the easier it is to shift the “negative” emotions. When I was a high school teacher, my students were required to write down 20 things they were grateful for that were unique to the month. At first, they thought I lost my mind. Slowly but surely, many of them saw the benefits. In June of 2017, I left the classroom to grow the Living in GRATITUDE Today Movement. Now, I speak about gratitude all over the country.

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Free gratitude poster for building community within your classroom


Also included in:  GROWTH MINDSET BUNDLE

Gratitude Journal for Kids

Gratitude Journal for Kids

Alissa Manning-Telisak

Gratitude Scavenger Hunt


Gratitude Digital Activity Distance Learning

Bright Futures Counseling

Thanksgiving, Gratitude and Kindness Calendar and Activities

Thanksgiving, Gratitude and Kindness Calendar and Activities

Cathy Ruth

Gratitude Bulletin Board Idea and Printable Free!

Patti Mihalides

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Gratitude: A Worksheet

Brain research shows that positive emotions, like gratitude, can benefit our bodies and minds. Feeling grateful for what we have (instead of obsessing about what we don't) helps with many different aspects of our lives — like relieving stress and boosting determination to try again when things don't work out the way we want.

This worksheet can help you start thinking about gratitude . Print out the page and write your answers to the questions in the spaces below. The act of writing down feelings of gratitude can reinforce this powerful emotion.

For a daily reminder to practice gratitude, post your answers where you'll see them each day or keep them in a gratitude journal. Then, make it a habit to pause each day to notice and appreciate what's good in your life.


  1. Thanksgiving Gratitude Printable Kit

    gratitude assignment for students

  2. Gratitude Workbook for G/T Teens

    gratitude assignment for students

  3. Gratitude worksheet example-01 small version

    gratitude assignment for students

  4. Teaching Gratitude in the Classroom (and at Home!)

    gratitude assignment for students

  5. Gratitude

    gratitude assignment for students

  6. Gratitude Workbook by Pathway 2 Success

    gratitude assignment for students


  1. 20 Gratitude Activities for Middle School Students

    20 Gratitude Activities for Middle School Students · 1. Gratitude Journal Printable · 2. Roll the Dice Gratitude Game · 3. Gratitude Scavenger Hunt.

  2. Thanks! A Strengths-Based Gratitude Curriculum for Tweens and

    about students' and parents' enthusiasm for the gratitude lessons. ... When they express gratitude, students ... Thanks for your help on the assignment.

  3. 31 Meaningful Gratitude Activities for Kids

    Encourage your students to draft a letter or email of gratitude. This powerful exercise involves kids personally thanking someone for being in

  4. Making Space for Gratitude: 15 Ideas for Schools During

    1. Introduce the concept of gratitude and related vocabulary words. · 2. Ask students to brainstorm examples of kindness and gratitude. · 3. Talk about gratitude


    1. GRATITUDE GROWTH TREE: Create and decorate a tree trunk from construction paper or another creative way. · 2. GRATITUDE STUDENT WALK: Guide students on a

  6. 13 Most Popular Gratitude Exercises & Activities

    The gratitude garden activity is a good activity to follow creating gratitude trees. This is also intended for children, but adults can certainly follow along

  7. Gratitude Project Teaching Resources

    This is a gratitude assignment which asks students to locate eight Bible verses about giving/thanksgiving, and to write their own

  8. Gratitude Teaching Resources

    Go beyond, "What are you thankful for?" with these fun worksheets. The first one asks children to think of things they are thankful

  9. Deliver Gratitude Day Lesson Plan

    Ask students what they think of the quote. Define gratitude/grateful. According to the world's leading gratitude researcher Robert Emmons, gratitude is an

  10. Gratitude: A Worksheet (for Teens)

    Write down a gratitude ritual you do now. · Write down an everyday blessing you've noticed that you used to take for granted. · Name someone you're grateful to