Gratitude Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about gratitude. Students will read a lesson and answer questions about the benefits of gratitude using new vocabulary.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Describe the personal and social benefits of gratitude.
  • Understand and use new vocabulary related to gratitude.


90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


  • altruism
  • gratitude
  • indebtedness
  • perspective
  • network
  • optimism
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • reciprocity


  • Copies of the quiz
  • Copies of the lesson
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Miscellaneous materials as determined by each student, such as stationary, construction paper, markers, crayons, card stock, etc.
  • Clip from movie 'Pay It Forward.'

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Review vocabulary words.
  • Read Gratitude: Definition & Benefits as a class.
  • Pause after 'Benefits of Gratitude: Perspective', then discuss:
    • Turn and talk: How do you show gratitude to others?
    • Turn and talk: Describe a time that you showed gratitude to someone. How did you feel?
    • What is gratitude?
    • What is reciprocity?
    • Turn and talk: Tell about a time you felt indebted to someone. How did you feel?
  • Read the remainder of the lesson then discuss:
    • What are some personal benefits of gratitude?
    • What are some things that a person acknowledges when they show gratitude?
    • What are some social benefits of gratitude?
    • What is altruism?
    • What affect does gratitude have on a person's health?
  • Pass out the printable worksheet. Have students complete the questions independently, then check the answers together.

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