SPARKLERS / Gratitude

Gratitude O’Clock

Our favourite ideas for teaching and encouraging gratitude.
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Print me!

Print a Gratitude O'Clock worksheet for each student, so they can use this to record a gratitude idea every school day, for a month.

OR

As part of our Sparklers at Home activity, our designer Molly, created this fun video which takes tamariki through how they can create their own Whakawhetai (gratitude) journal.

Why we love it

Gratitude is linked to overall happiness. Research shows that regularly writing down what we're thankful for:

  • evokes positive feelings and emotions
  • reminds us of all the things and people who contribute to our lives
  • helps build appreciation, empathy and kindness.

But we don’t come by an ‘attitude of gratitude’ naturally! Just like sharing or turn-taking, it’s a social skill we need to learn and practice – and that's what this activity is all about!

Kōrero

To get students thinking about gratitude, ask some of the following questions:

  • Who has heard of gratitude? What do we think it means? (Noticing all the good things in our lives; feeling lucky and thankful for them.)
  • So what are some things that make you happy?
  • Who are the greatest people in your life?
  • What sorts of things do those people do for you?
  • What do we say when people do things for us?
  • Why do we say thank you? Mention gratitude and appreciation.
  • What other things might we feel lucky or grateful for?
  • What are some of your favourite sights, smells, or sounds?
  • What do you like doing in the weekend?

Explain that anything we like, love, enjoy or appreciate is something we can feel grateful for – and focusing on people is a great place to start.

Try Gratitude o’clock

What's Gratitude O’Clock? It's a special time where you and students can record something you're grateful for OR the best part of your day.

Let students know that lots of studies have been done about gratitude and how amazing it can be for helping us feel good, and reminding us of all the special people and things we have in our lives.

Studies show that the benefits are strongest when we note down our ideas down, and do this as often was we can.

Give students a Gratitude O'Clock worksheet, and explain that each day for four weeks, they'll have the chance to note down something or someone they are thankful for.

Having a set time each day can really help. You might decide to start the day this way, or to do it after lunch. Choose a time together and make this Gratitude O'Clock!

To keep it interesting, mix up your focus each day, from general to specific, using the kōrero questions above as focus ideas. Bring the focus to people when you can and reassure students that it doesn't matter if they use the same person more than once.

Give tamariki regular chances to share their ideas, and commend their efforts – remarking on the way you can see their gratitude growing.

What next?

These gratitude sheets can be the perfect way to identify people tamariki could create Sneaky thank you cards for.

Encourage older tamariki to have a daily goal of helping someone (at school or home) without being asked. Allow them to share these acts of kindness at the end of Gratitude O’Clock – explaining why they chose that person and what they did – then give them a clap and cheer.

You may also like to have fun and give back with our Bunches of aroha activity.

This fun worksheet is another great tool to help tamariki reflect, be grateful and look forward to the future.

Sparklers at Home

If you'd like to encourage whānau to give whakawhatai (gratitude) a go at home, simply copy and paste the following 'blurb' into an email or your home-learning programme as an introduction.

In the classroom we've been looking into the many benefits of feeling gratitude. Interestingly (and amazingly), gratitude is linked to overall happiness. Research shows that regularly writing down what we're thankful for:

  • evokes positive feelings and emotions
  • reminds us of all the things and people who contribute to our lives
  • helps build appreciation, empathy and kindness.

Sparklers at Home activity Whakawhetai (Gratitude) O'Clock takes you through the same ideas we've been practising in the classroom, which you can also try at home. It includes a fun video in order that your child can make their own journal by following the simple instructions.

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