A lesson in Gratitude

Celebrating GRATITUDE in the ESL classroom

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It’s Thanksgiving day in America next week and this reminds me how important it is for us to teach our students to express gratitude.

It’s been proven that feeling thankful can benefit us in so many ways, such as

*improving our relationships;

*sleeping better;

*feeling better physically and mentally;

*reducing our stress levels;

*boosting our happiness;

*feeling more confident

So this is what I did with my teenage students this week:

Step 1

I played this video which shows how high school American students wrote a gratitude letter to someone special in their life. Then we talked about the people’s reactions and how the letter could affect their future relationship.

Step 2

I played my brand-new GRATITUDE meditation, which you can find here. The purpose of the meditation is to quieten the students’ mind and also help them review the day.

Step 3

After the meditation, I read the following writing prompt and gave the students 20 min to express their gratitude.

Think about someone who makes you feel better. Is it one of your parents, your best friend, a teacher or maybe an artist whose songs make you happy? Write a letter or poem to this person in order to express your gratitude.

Step 4

I was really impressed with my students’ letters and poems. I’ve noticed that every time I ask them to meditate before a writing activity, they manage to go deep within themselves and find emotions and experiences that they may have buried or forgotten.

Here are a few more prompts that you can use:

During the meditation, you were asked to think about a person who was kind to you today. Write a letter to him/her expressing your gratitude for spreading kindness in the world.

Think about something difficult you´ve accomplished recently. What did you learn from this experience? Write a GRATITUDE letter to yourself for not giving up and sticking up to your goal.

Think about all the positive aspects of your life. Then write a poem to express your gratitude. Use repetition, for example, I am thankful for….

Finally, I would like to share with you a poem that I wrote inspired by this mediation.

I am grateful

I am grateful for the love in my life

and the fact that I feel alive.

I am grateful for the man, who loves me,

Supports me and always spoils me.

I am grateful for feeling aligned

With the purpose, I’ve been assigned.

I am grateful for my daily inspiration

which has brought this insightful creation.

I am grateful for the students I teach

And inspire them by the way I preach.

I am grateful for the joy I bring

And how it makes my students’ hearts sing.

I am grateful for the inner peace

and how this poem flows with ease.

How would you mark THANKSGIVING DAY with your students?

Truly grateful,

Marusya Price

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