Teacher’s File Drawer #2 An Attitude of Gratitude, part 2

If your students have been writing a brief paragraph each day recording things they are grateful for, have them use these paragraphs as the basis for an essay about “Three Things I am Grateful For.”

As a pre-write exercise, instruct your students to go through the paragraphs and make a list of all the things they wrote about.

Next, tell them to evaluate this list. Are there some items that could fall under one broader category heading, Is there anything that stands out as the one, two, or three things they are most grateful for in their lives.

Help them plan a basic 5 paragraph essay.

Paragraph 1: Introduction.  Criteria: a reflection on gratitude and brief mention of three things to be discussed in the essay.

Paragraph 2: The first thing the student would like to discuss. Note your students may start with what they are most grateful for of the three, or least grateful for and work their way to most grateful in paragraph 4. Criteria: the student should name the thing he or she is grateful for and tell about it and its significance in his or her life.

Paragraph 3: The second item the student would like to discuss. Criteria is the same as in paragraph 2.

Paragraph 4: The second item the student would like to discuss. Criteria is the same as in paragraph 2.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion. Quickly sum up the three things you are grateful for and share some final thoughts.

Require your students to use the writing process: Pre-write (above), rough draft, revise, peer evaluation, edit, create a final copy.

  •           Scoring:
  •           Pre-write 2pts.
  •           Rough Draft 2pts.
  •           Revision and Editing (require the students to turn in the rough draft with marked revisions) 2pts.
  •           Peer Evaluation 2pts.
  •           Final copy 2pts. (The school I used to work for required MLA formatting. Here was where I scored for that.”
  •           Ideas and Content: 2pts.
  •           Organization: 2pts.
  •           Word Choice: 2pts.
  •           Voice: 2pts.
  •           Sentence Fluency; 2pts.
  •           Conventions: 2pts.
  •           Reflection: Students must write three sentences in answer to each question:
  •                     What was the hardest part of this assignment? 1pt.
  •                     What was the easiest part of this assignment? 1pt.
  •                     What have you learned while working on this assignment? 1pt.
  •           Total points: 25

Have fun with the writing and have fun with the reading! It’s nice to be able to give thought to what is positive in life. And looking at what your students are grateful for will help you get to know them better.