Sunday, November 5, 2017

Teaching Gratefulness in Special Ed

Fall! Everyone's favorite season, right?! I love fall for millions of reasons, including sweater weather, chai lattes, TV shows coming out, the World Series, and gorgeous trees - but I also LOVE teaching gratefulness to my class.

There is SO much research that shows us how crucial gratitude is in creating and maintaining happiness and joy in our everyday lives (here's one from Psych Today and one from Harvard Health). We know this. And while gratitude is something we should be practicing regularly to keep us grounded, humble, and - well - HAPPY, November really is the perfect month to teach this to our kiddos.

By November, back to school craziness is (hopefully) starting to settle, and you can begin some new routines, like adding gratefulness practice into your daily routine. And, of course, it nicely ties in with Thanksgiving!

So here's a round-up of some simple, easy to differentiate and easy implement ideas on how to begin incorporating this into your daily routine this month! (The Amazon links are affiliate links!)


A lesser known Dr. Seuss book about gratitude, such a great read, and familiar for our students!

Focuses on being thankful for relationships with your parents.

This is one of my all time favorite books! Gives gratitude a very applicable face for kids.

TPT Freebies

12 Days of Gratitude - an awesome resource to get started on gratitude and get your class excited for the holiday season.

I love this freebie because it also focuses on needs vs. wants, which is an important piece when introducing what we're grateful for!

A more comprehensive freebie with more writing opportunities for older or more academic-based students.

YouTube Videos

Because who doesn't love Kid President?

A read aloud of "The Gratitude Jar". 

Kind of a goofy cartoon, but has a great message and older characters to appeal to upper elementary students and above!


I love this idea from Teach Beside Me because there's so many ways you could modify or differentiate it for your specific class! 

SO CUTE! Getting kids outside and exploring all the things that we can and should be thankful for really opens up the minds of our kids. And who doesn't love a Scavenger Hunt?! (by This Little Home of Mine)

Imagine what amazing skills our students could develop if we took the time to teach them the value of gratitude at young ages?! What are you planning on doing to teach this mindset this season?


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