Tuesday, November 1, 2016

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: How to foster a Spirit of Thankfulness in your classroom

November is here and I am so looking forward to all that this month has in store! Today I'm sharing one of my favorite classroom activities: Attitude of Gratitude. It's something I started last year and know I will do for YEARS to come!

This activity is so simple and CHEAP! I spent under $3 on this month-long activity that will foster and build a spirit of thankfulness in my classroom and bond my students closer together. 

When I set up the activity I had students work together to look through a dictionary and thesaurus to define these words:

- attitude
- gratitude
- thankfulness
- blessing

Different groups got to look up different words (some words had multiple groups researching) and share their findings with the class. Then we worked as a class to come up with a "student friendly definition" of what having an attitude of gratitude is and looks like. After we got on the same page about the heart behind what we would be doing... I explained the activities. I told my students that we would be displaying our grateful hearts in three ways and they were so excited to learn about each way.

1. The first way that we will be working on fostering this attitude of gratitude is through "family time" at the end of each day. Every day of November we will end the day sitting in a giant circle on the floor. We will go around one-by-one and share what we are thankful for from that day. I explained to my students that I wanted us to be deliberate to look for the little blessings in each day and identify them as things we can be thankful for. We started today, and already our family time/thankfulness sharing was so special. Students were extremely attentive to one another, tracking the speaker, nodding in approval as students were sharing, and even whispering out a few "oh that's a good one." Some of the things my class was thankful for today...

- Each other
- Having a cafeteria that provides free food for all children so no one will go without (verbatim what the kid said ya'll - presh)
- Miss Whittaker :)
- Fun STEAM activities
- Good weather
- Getting to do Attitude of Gratitude (tears!)

Seriously could not have asked for a sweeter time today. I can't wait to see what's ahead. My students "homework" is to ask their parents what they are thankful for today!

2. The second part of our Attitude of Gratitude activity involves looking for ways we can impact our community - both inside the school & out. Students worked together to brainstorm a list of organizations and groups that they would like to "sponsor" throughout the month (pictured above). Each week of November we will focus on a different group. We voted on the four groups we wanted to focus on blessing. This week we are "sponsoring" our bus drivers. Students got to collaborate to decide ways that they could bless our bus drivers. Ideas ranged from bringing treats, to creating cards, to saying a simple "thank you!" Each week we will do the same brainstorming process as we decide tangible ways we can bless that specific group that week. I will also set aside about 15 minutes each week for students to create cards/letters/notes of thoughtfulness to the chosen group.

3. The final way that we will be sharing our attitude of gratitude is with notes of thoughtfulness for one another. Each student has a brown lunch sack with their name on the front of it. On the back I have attached a list with each student in class' name on it. Throughout the entire month students get to write notes of thoughtfulness to each of their classmates. They will be writing specific things that they are thankful for about one another and then placing it in the student's bag. The hard part is that students cannot look into their own bag until November 30th... so the suspense is building!! Today we started writing notes and my classroom was SO quiet! All I could hear was the taping of pencils and and creasing of papers. It was totally music to my ears as I saw my students earnestly working to bless and encourage one another.

I LOVED doing this activity with my class last year and I can't wait to see how this bonds my class together this year while also fostering a spirit of thanksgiving. Building an attitude of gratitude in your class can start with doing one or two of these activities, or all three any time of the year. Please comment below to let me know if you try any of these activities in your class and share your stories! Can't wait to see how you foster an attitude of gratitude in your classroom.


  1. This is simply the cutest! I love the use of repetition to reinforce the development of a grateful attitude and heart!