Expressing gratitude can lead to many positive benefits, such as improved physical and psychological health, better sleep, and even reduced anxiety and depression. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and the readiness to show appreciation and return kindness.
Mrs. Danielle Merritt, fourth-grade teacher at PreEminent, was responsible for displaying November’s virtue, gratitude, at their monthly Moral Focus assembly and had her class present on gratitude through mini skits. Through acting it out, students showed ways they are ungrateful, and then turned around and showed how they should be grateful in various situations.
In addition to the mini skit at the assembly, students were welcomed each day with a writing prompt on gratitude and also shared what they were grateful for during transitions.
“Incorporating gratitude in the classroom is so critical because I want this virtue to mean something to students and stick with them every day, not just the month of November,” said Stephanie Solomon, third- through fifth-grade dean at PreEminent.
Students participated in a gratitude scavenger hunt, in which they had to find the following:
- Find something outside you enjoy looking at.
- Find something that is useful for you.
- Find something that is your favorite color.
- Find something that makes you happy.
- Find something that makes you laugh.
- Find something in the morning that you enjoy.
- Find a friend or pet that you love spending time with,
- Find something that tastes good.
- Find something that you love doing outside with friends.
- Find something that you are grateful for.
The goal for the gratitude scavenger hunt was for students to not just write something down just to have something on paper, but for students to experience it and show gratitude throughout the school year.
Solomon believes “students should value gratitude because I want them to learn what it means to be grateful and appreciate what they have in life.”