For a Thanksgiving project, Ms. Poach challenged the Eggs to write a journal page listing the things for which they are grateful. Greggory got a quick lesson on gratitude following a bike accident. He not only realized the importance of being grateful for his friends, but also being grateful for not being hurt worse than he was, and for the ability to walk that he previously took for granted. However, the Eggs find themselves once again helping Benedict. Benedict thinks he has nothing for which to be grateful. All he is able to do is list everything he feels is negative about himself. The Eggs come up with a plan to take Benedict to visit Greggory. While the Eggs are visiting, Greggory shares his sadness with the others by listing everything he is not able to do because of his broken ankle. He missed playing baseball, running, and even walking to the mailbox. This was all part of the Eggs’ plan to help Benedict think of the things that he is able to do and should be grateful for. The plan worked. Benedict got to thinking, and the next day he read aloud to the class a list of all the things and people that make him happy – he discovered gratitude after all.
If we change our perspective on ourselves and other people, we will change our attitude to one of gratitude.
What’s this activity about?
Being aware of our day in order to develop an “attitude of gratitude.”
What supplies do I need?
Notebook (or journal), pencil
After breaking his ankle, Greggory realized how fortunate he was to be able to walk.
The old saying is “we don’t know what we got ‘till it’s gone.” Ask your students to try and remember a time when they were limited in some way. Perhaps they broke their arm, got the flu, had tonsillitis, lost their phone, etc. How did they feel about not being able to do something they used to be able to do?
How did it feel when they were able to do it again? Sometimes it takes losing something to help us realize how precious it is and how grateful we should be for everyday living.
Benedict was not happy with the assignment. He looked at the negative side of things (he said he couldn’t read well, couldn’t do math well, messed things up a lot, etc.). The Good Eggs helped him turn his thinking around and look at things in a positive way. After his visit with Greggory, he began to realize he was grateful for a lot!
On a sheet in your notebook, have your students draw a line down the middle. On the left side of the paper, draw a picture of themselves doing something they feel they are not very good at (sports, music,
schoolwork, etc.) On the right side of the paper, draw themselves approaching the situation positively (e.g. if they are not musically inclined, they can certainly listen to music or applaud for those who play music well, perhaps a school concert or a friend’s recital). If you flip your perspective, you will be able to participate in many things in many ways!
Ms. Poach assigned a project to the Eggs. They had to write at least one thing they were grateful for each day for one week.
Think about copying Ms. Poach’s assignment. Tell the students they will be keeping a “Gratitude Journal” like the Eggs did in their notebook. For one week, write at least one thing per day that makes you feel grateful. At the end of the week, read it over. I bet you will be smiling at all the goodness. Keep it up week after week – look for things throughout your day that make you happy and grateful and write them in your notebook before you go to sleep!
Take some time to reflect and examine our own attitude and ask ourselves what my attitude is toward the things I have, the experiences I enjoy, and the people in my life. Do we dare ask ourselves the question, “Am I a grateful person?” And yes, we need to stretch ourselves beyond the fact that we always “say thank you” and determine how much gratitude we feel within our mind and heart and how well we express this grateful attitude throughout our day. Once we examine our own “attitude” we can make the necessary adjustments in order to better model our attitude for our students. The more our students see, hear, and experience our gratitude for the things we have and the people in our life, the more they will change their attitude. It truly is contagious!
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