Every once in a while I ask my students to keep journals over the break. These journals actually look more like scrapbooks as they include writing, pictures, pamphlets, movie ticket stubs, restaurant menus, tourism guides, etc. The kids love making them, they love sharing them and they are lovely keepsakes.
This year however, I am switching things up. This year I am going to ask my students to create/keep “Gratitude Journals”.
This week we will decorate notebooks with stickers and glitter and paint … I want these notebooks to be personal and beautiful and fun.
Over the break they will be asked to record one thing that they are grateful for each and every day.
“March 12th: Today I am grateful for a great friend like Trish. She came over today and we played and giggle and laughed. She makes me feel good.”
“March 13th: Today I am grateful for a mum who bought me a pair of skis and signed me up for lessons. I can’t wait to learn how to ski.”
“March 14th: Today I am grateful that I got to see my grandparents. They live in Ottawa and so I don’t get to see them that often. I love them.”
“March 15th: Today I am grateful that I have such a great book to read. I can’t wait to se what happens next.”
When we return, students will be encouraged (but not required) to share some entries with the class. (Hopefully everyone will want to share one or two.)
We will then use the journal as the basis for some poetry activities.
I am going to keep one as well, & I can’t wait to see what happens.
A few simple practices can promote the feeling and expression of gratitude among students, thereby building their character, prosocial skills, and positive emotions …
Experiencing and expressing gratitude has many potential benefits for school outcomes, including student’s enhanced character development, positive emotions, and prosocial behavior. Promoting gratitude can begin in the middle level and continue into high school. The use of simple techniques, such as gratitude journals, is an effective and easily managed procedure for accomplishing this goal. By having staff members incorporate a few simple practices, principals can help establish a school culture in which gratitude contributes to student well-being and attitudes and, by extension, a more positive school climate.”