“I like the definition of gratitude and its benefits from Psychology Today:
‘Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, say, a consumer-oriented emphasis on what one wants or needs—and is currently receiving a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology. Gratitude is what gets poured into the glass to make it half full. Studies show that gratitude not only can be deliberately cultivated but can increase levels of well-being and happiness among those who do cultivate it. In addition, grateful thinking—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy.’”
November is usually a time for giving thanks since this is the month we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.
Many times we take it for granted that our students know how to show gratitude. I’m not sure that some students know what gratitude is and how to identify it.
My husband and I are volunteers with the Red Cross and we respond to disaster locally in order to help clients who have been affected by the disaster. The disaster may have been caused by fire, flood, hurricanes, tornadoes, heat, or ice. When we respond, I feel so bad for the family and part of me feel thankful that it isn’t me being affected. I feel guilty for feeling this way. I am always grateful that I’m in a position to help others and they are always appreciative of the help that Red Cross gives them.
In addition to the suggestions given by Cool Cat Teacher, I have some that I would like to add.
Sometimes it is hard during the cold season and holiday time for my students to find anything to be thankful for. Even though I try to set a positive example, many students can’t relate to my life.
I would have students identify things and people in their lives that mean a lot to them. In a chart, I would have them write down why they mean a lot to the student. In another column, I would have them write what the student’s life would be like if they didn’t have these things or people in their lives.
I would have students look through current events articles where people are having tough times. I would ask students if they can relate to the situation. Then I would have them compare their own life to the person’s life in the article. I would ask them to explain how they are better off than the person in the article.
What kind of activities would you suggest to help teach about gratitude? Please share.
Image: 'gratitude and rust'
Found on flickrcc.net