Teachers are the architects of the future of a country. They guide, reprimand, and sometimes, correct the students so that the latter builds a better value system. It is for their unique way of touching the lives that the students feel like showing gratitude. Expressing this emotion can be done in a unique manner. How to make teachers feel special or celebrate their being are a few aims of the gratitude activities. While journalism activities mentioned in our previous post are career-focused, gratitude activity ideas are more inclined towards personality development.
Apart from expressing gratitude to teachers, the gratitude activities are organized for helping students discover their grateful side too. In the process of carrying out such activities, they find about their strengths and values and be aware of those.
In this post, we cover gratitude activities for high school students that can be done in the classroom environment to celebrate the teacher-student bond. Also, the activities for self-discovery are included too.
1. Making greeting cards
Greeting cards are quite a thing when it comes to expressing emotions. The handmade cards display the sincerity and the efforts you have put in to make teachers feel special. You can go creative in the use of decorative material, card paper, and fonts. By putting together the card with a high aesthetic appeal, you can express gratitude creatively. Once done with making, come up with some original message. Pour out your heart and show your grateful side with words.
2. Make a poster
One of the interesting activities to show gratitude is to make a wall poster. On this poster, you can paste photograph of the teacher or an inspirational figure. Below the photograph, all students can scribble their messages and sign it. This activity can be done in the group and is quite effective in refining social skills too.
3. Give a speech
Use the zero hour of the classroom time or the activity hour to design a short program. In this activity, select some volunteers who want to contribute through their skills. As a part of the program, students can present a speech wherein they will explain how the teacher/mentor touched their lives or brought the difference.
Mentioned above are the most used gratitude activities for expressing thankfulness to teachers. Let’s move on to the activities that help students self-discover their character strengths and feeling of gratefulness.
4. ‘How grateful you are’ activity
All members of the class will be divided into pairs. The pairs will discuss among themselves their positive character strengths. The listeners will jot down the characteristics and create profiles of their respective partners. They can present it to the class. It helps all know who to approach when a person with certain qualities is required for a purpose. For example, if someone’s profile says ‘compassionate’, they can be approached for projects where helping ill and elderly is the core activity, and likewise.
5. Keeping a gratitude journal
Good deeds generate positive emotions. A person may feel stronger or happier by helping others, contributing to a good cause, or by simply changing the surroundings. Keeping an account of such good deeds does two things. First, it allows you to discover your productive side. Second, it helps you know about things you are good at.
A gratitude journal is just like a diary. You reflect over the good things you did throughout the day. In the process, you note down the work done, how it was done and how you felt on achieving the feat. When next time you feel a bit low or laid back, going back to activities that helped you feel better may help you bounce back.
6. Connect with a person for whom you are grateful
Connecting with a person for whom you are grateful can be done in a few ways. You may write a letter, or an email. In the fast-paced world of present times, chatting with the person may provide instant gratification. Hence, you talk to the person thanking him or her for goodness they brought in to your life. You may explain how they made you feel better. This simple activity helps you have a countable, go-to person and the receiver of positive thoughts feel more motivated too.
7. The ‘Count Your Blessings’ Exercise
Life is a gift. Appreciating and being grateful for it helps you see the positivity around. Often it happens that people feel low and short of achievements. There are feelings of frustration arising from undue expectations of the self. In the ‘Count your blessings’ exercise, you focus on things that you are privileged with. Also, how you achieved those things is reflected upon. It helps you stay motivated and determined to keep moving. Difficulties won’t overwhelm you when you have account of achievements in your hand.
8. Read stories of Gratefulness such as Gift of Magi
Personality development and social skills development is an important part of high school curriculum in various schools. The aim of this activity is to find inspiration in books and stories and develop ‘feel good’ factor. One such recommendation is reading the story ‘the Gift of Magi’. Reading it is advised to develop feeling of determination to do things for the loved ones. You may also watch movies with positive messages, and having stories of hope or making positive difference to life of the self and those around.
Extra-curricular activities like first day activities help break the ice and get accustomed to new school’s environment. Gratitude activities are all about developing a good and positive attitude towards life and building social skills. High schools take the development of these skills in growing students quite seriously and do have a well-planned curriculum for the same.
You can find more about the gratitude classes by talking to the concerned authorities in your institution and joining such activities. These help you develop a value system that works as a tool to wield to combat challenges awaiting in adult life. Watch out for this space for other activities we plan to bring to you in coming posts.