Time icon
Frequency icon
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1-2 minutes


Weekly / Monthly


Markers, Post-its


To create a sense of belonging, appreciation, optimism and positivity through sharing grateful moments

Provide context for the practice (see “Evidence” section).

  • Co-create a bulletin board with students (or a use a blank space on a wall) and have them use their creativity to develop it.
  • Brainstorm what could be added to the wall (e.g., appropriate quotes or images).
  • Write the definition of gratitude and its benefits on the designated space and provide markers, Post-its or other materials so students can share what they are grateful for or to whom they are grateful.
  • Monitor responses.

In a virtual learning environment, this can be done using a whiteboard platform (such as Jamboard).

Gratitude is a concept related to the positive psychology movement which reflects the value of holding an optimistic worldview (Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006). Many evidence-based programs designed to enhance optimism and reduce depressive symptoms have activities that help students to “find the silver lining” in situations. Identifying gratitude and sharing it with others was found to benefit not only the individual but also the receiver (Kleinman, et al., 2013). Experiencing gratitude makes someone more likely to help others, possibly creating more opportunities for others to experience gratitude (Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006). Embry & Biglan (2008) also explain that peer-to-peer written praise that is posted publicly or shared privately improves social competence, academic achievement, work performance, and physical health, while reducing violence, aggression, and vandalism.

Bartlett, M. Y., & DeSteno, D. (2006). Gratitude and prosocial behavior: Helping when it costs you. Psychological science, 17(4), 319-325.

Embry, D. D., & Biglan, A. (2008). Evidence-based kernels: fundamental units of behavioral influence. Clinical child and family psychology review, 11(3), 75–113. doi:10.1007/s10567-008-0036-x

Kleiman, E. M., Adams, L. M., Kashdan, T. B., & Riskind, J. H. (2013). Gratitude and grit indirectly reduce risk of suicidal ideations by enhancing meaning in life: Evidence for a mediated moderation model. Journal of Research in Personality, 47(5), 539-546. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2013.04.007