SPARKLERS / Gratitude

Gratitude O’Clock

Our favourite ideas for teaching and encouraging gratitude.
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Why we love it

Gratitude is linked to overall happiness. Research shows that spending five minutes a day thinking about what we’re grateful for can increase our overall wellbeing.

But children 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. These ideas will help promote gratitude in the classroom (and at home).


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 happy about them.)
  • So what are some things that make you happy?
  • What foods do you love?
  • What sort of weather do you like best?
  • What’s a favourite memory?
  • What are some of your favourite sights, smells, or sounds?
  • What do you like doing in the weekend?
  • 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?

Explain that anything we like, love, enjoy or appreciate is something we can feel grateful for.

Try Gratitude o’clock

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

Whether the list includes a good piano lesson, a sports win, a favourite food or a birthday visit from Nana, this daily (or weekly) tradition will help foster gratitude and a positive frame of mind.

To keep it interesting, mix up your focus each day, from general to specific, using the Kōrero questions above as focus ideas.

Start Gratitude pages

To help tamariki reflect and see their gratitude growing, get them to record their ideas on a decorated page of their exercise book.

This will help them to see their gratitude grow over time, and to find ideas for their Sneaky thank you cards and/or an end of term gratitude poster.

What next?

Encourage older tamariki to have a daily goal of helping someone without being asked. Check first that the person wants your help. Allow them to share this at the end of Gratitude O’Clock – explaining why they chose that person and what they did – then give them a clap and cheer.

Or have fun and give back with our class Bunches of aroha activity.

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