Hey there, fellow educators! We all know the power of gratitude in promoting well-being and positive attitudes. It’s time to incorporate that magic into our classrooms with a gratitude jar activity. By fostering mindfulness and appreciation, we can create a nurturing environment where our students can thrive. Allow us to help you gather your materials, create your jars, and use them throughout the classroom!
Before we begin, let’s gather our supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Source a medium-sized jar or container.
- Get creative and gather decorative materials like ribbons, stickers, or colorful paper to make your jar extra special.
- Cut out small pieces of paper or index cards for your students to write down their expressions of gratitude.
- Your learners will also need to grab their favorite pens, markers, or colored pencils to write their gratitude messages.
Learn More: Meant2Prevent
Steps To Follow
1. Explain the purpose and process of the gratitude jar activity to students
Take a moment to discuss the importance of gratitude and how this activity can help us cultivate a positive mindset. Encourage your learners to share their thoughts on why expressing gratitude is so meaningful.
2. Choose a jar or container
Look around your home or classroom and find a jar or container that you’d like to transform into your gratitude jar. It can be a mason jar, a small box, or anything that speaks to you.
3. Decorate the jar with the help of students
Let’s get creative! Use the decorative items you gathered to personalize your gratitude jar. You can tie ribbons around it, add stickers, or even create a collage using colorful paper. Let your imagination soar!
4. Label the jar
Give your gratitude jar a name that reflects its purpose. You can call it the “Gratitude Jar,” “Jar of Thanks,” or anything else that inspires you. Decorate a label and then attach it to your jar.
5. Prepare gratitude slips or small pieces of paper
Cut out small slips of paper or use index cards to create your gratitude slips. These will be used to write down the things you’re grateful for.
Implementing The Gratitude Jar In The Classroom
1. Set a regular schedule for students to share gratitude
Decide on a frequency that works for you to share your gratitude. It can be daily, weekly, or any other timeframe that suits your class.
2. Encourage students to write down one thing they’re grateful for each time
Whenever the designated time comes around, prompt your little ones to think about something that brings them joy or sparks gratitude. Have them write it down on a gratitude slip.
3. Allow students to share their gratitude slips with the class
If you and your learners are comfortable, have everyone share what they have written with the class. This allows you to celebrate and appreciate each other’s positive experiences.
4. Place completed gratitude slips in the jar
Fold your gratitude slip and gently place it in the gratitude jar. Marvel as the jar fills up with expressions of gratitude over time.
Learn More: Technotes
Reflecting On The Activity
1. Periodically review the gratitude slips as a class
Take a moment to review the gratitude slips together as a class. You can read some of them aloud or have volunteers share their entries.
2. Discuss how practicing gratitude has impacted your attitudes and well-being
Engage in meaningful discussions about how expressing gratitude has influenced your learners’ thoughts and feelings. Get them to share any positive changes they’ve noticed in themselves or others.
3. Share success stories and challenges encountered during the activity
Encourage your learners to open up and share their success stories or any challenges faced while participating in this activity. The class can all learn from each other’s experiences and provide support.
Learn More: Carly and Adam
Adapting The Activity For Different Age Groups & Settings
1. Suggestions for younger students
For younger students, adapt the gratitude jar activity by encouraging your learners to use drawings or stickers instead of writing. They can draw pictures of things they are grateful for or use colorful stickers to represent their feelings of gratitude.
2. Ideas for older students
For older students, why not look into incorporating journaling as part of the activity? In addition to writing down one thing they’re grateful for, they can also reflect on why they’re grateful and how gratitude has positively impacted their lives.
3. Adapting the activity for remote or online learning
If you’re participating in remote or online learning, your class can still benefit from this heartfelt activity. Students can create a digital gratitude jar using a shared document or a virtual platform. They can simply type their expressions of gratitude and share them with the class through video conferencing or by posting them on a class discussion board.
Learn More: Tarheelstate Teacher
By embracing gratitude, you’re cultivating a positive and supportive environment where students can thrive. Remember, practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be confined to the classroom! Encourage your students to continue expressing gratitude beyond the classroom walls; spreading positivity and appreciation in their everyday lives. Keep nurturing gratitude, and let its magic inspire your students to shine brightly!