Teacher’s File Drawer #2: An Attitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving always seems to be the perfect opener for the holiday season, because for me, the holidays are all about gratitude. Studies have shown that people who are grateful tend to live happier, healthier lives. So what better way to prepare for the holidays and foster an attitude of gratitude than by focusing all the month of November on the people and things we are grateful for in our lives.

This month’s assignment?

Set aside time daily for your students to write a paragraph of at least 5 to 10 sentences, (depending on the age of your students) about one person or thing for which each is grateful.

Requiring your students to write multiple sentences will provide them with opportunities to practice elaborating on their subject and develop fluency in writing.

In addition to the minimum number of sentences required, students may only journal about each topic once during the month, thus encouraging them to think in an increasingly broad way about their lives and their world, and to find pleasure and gratitude in a wider range of subjects than they may have initially been aware of or considered.

Scoring: Each day’s entry shall be worth 1 point, with a total of 30 points possible for the month.

  • Score 1 point if 90% of the length requirement is met.
  • Score .9 if 80-89% of the length requirement is met.
  • Score .8 if 70-79% of the length requirement is met.
  • Score .7 if 60-69% of the length requirement is met.
  • Score .6 if 50-59% of the length requirement is met.
  • Score .3 if 25-49% of the length requirement is met.
  • Score .1 if 1-24% of the length requirement is met.

If the student returns to the same subject multiple times, score just .5 points for each repetitive entry after the original.

I hope this assignment will help increase students’ awareness of how blessed we are to live in these times and in this place, and I hope you will feel as blessed reading their entries as I did reading those of my own students.

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