Life can sometimes lose its luster. There are days without excitement, thrill, or adventure. However, even amidst these quieter moments, there exists a powerful way to uplift one’s spirits: to notice the gifts of life and be grateful.
The practice of gratitude is seeing the beauty and worth in everyday things and life. From the fragrant smell of breakfast in the early morning to the nurturing love that friends and family give, being thankful allows one to unlock a treasure trove of hidden joys.
An attitude of gratitude instills a positive and appreciative mindset in a person. Focusing on the things that are present instead of absent makes a person happier and more optimistic, improving their mental health. This is why kindergartners need to learn how to be thankful. Through cultivating a habit of gratitude, kindergartners can grow into positive and thriving individuals with rich and meaningful lives.
"An attitude of gratitude instills a positive and appreciative mindset in a person. Focusing on the things that are present instead of absent makes a person happier and more optimistic, improving their mental health."
This evidence-based SEL lesson on self-management teaches kindergartners how to be grateful and more positive in life. They learn to manage their thoughts and focus on what makes their life meaningful, even if these are hidden in simple everyday things.
The class opens by engaging students in a fun discussion about what makes them happy. For example, the students can appreciate their big feelings that serve different purposes in life. They can also thank themselves for learning about these big feelings, and that adults experience the same emotions as them. The teacher then clarifies that appreciating things does not mean something is perfect; it simply means that one is happy to have that something.
Afterward, a creative SEL activity concludes the lesson. Kindergarten students imagine and draw a thing, activity, or person they are happy to have. They are then encouraged to present it in front of the class and explain why they have chosen to draw it.
When one cultivates an attitude of gratitude, they shift their focus from what is lacking to what is present. Having a clear vision of the things that truly matter is what makes life more meaningful and worth living. This lesson is designed to help kindergartners recognize and embrace the power of gratitude in their lives. By understanding its importance, kindergartners can develop a lifelong habit of appreciating the abundance surrounding them and lead a happy life.