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5 minutes


Weekly / Daily




To help students focus on a positive perspective by having them think about the good things that happen in their lives and looking for positive things around them

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

  • Begin with a minute of silence to have students think of something they are grateful for then take turns sharing (in small groups or as a class).
  • In popcorn style, ask students to share in a word, or sentence, their thoughts.

NOTE: Co-creating classroom norms of inclusion, respect for diversity, compassion, and collaboration will help create discussions with a positive and safe emotional climate. To ensure respectful dialogue, norms must be co-created before the practice, and students can be reminded of them throughout. (establish in your norms that students can pass).

Can also be done as an independent learning exercise where the teacher shares a cumulative list rather than each student sharing.

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 sharing the gratitude, but also the receiver of the gratitude (Kleinman, et al., 2013). Experiencing gratitude makes someone more likely to help others, possibly creating a ripple effect of more opportunities for others to experience gratitude (Bartlett & DeSteno, 2006).

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

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.