First Graders Study the Meaning of Gratitude

First graders are currently studying fairy tales—the ideas of wants versus needs and character traits. One character trait we wanted to highlight with all the fall and winter holidays is gratitude.

During their gratitude lessons, students discussed what gratitude is, how it’s important in the holidays we celebrate and in our school culture, and thought through what a world with and without gratitude would look, sound and feel like. Students shared great examples of things they would see, hear and feel in each situation and overwhelmingly determined they would prefer to live in a world full of gratitude.

After reaching this conclusion, students practiced ways to share their gratitude with others through words and actions (e.g., saying “Thank you,” “You’re a good friend,” or “I appreciate you,” giving someone a hug, writing someone a note, smiling, sharing toys, playing with friends at recess, holding the door open for someone). Finally, the students used collaborative problem-solving skills to create their own role-plays to actively practice ways to share gratefulness with one another, which is one small step toward building communities and a world filled with gratitude.