Thanksgiving Lesson Plan on Gratitude

By Jen Keyte, Instructional Sharing Senior Manager, KIPP Foundation

A couple of days before Thanksgiving break, why not teach your high school students about gratitude?  It’s one of the character traits that Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson identified in their book, Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification, as a path to a meaningful and fulfilling life. Indicators show that expressing gratitude makes us happier.

Melissa Barkin Scheinfeld, our High School History Community Leader on KIPP Share and teacher at KIPP Austin Collegiate, thought it would be a good idea to teach her students about well-being theory and give them a little gratitude assignment of their own over the Thanksgiving break.

You can view Melissa’s Gratitude Exercise Lesson Plan here, which includes a gratitude visit assignment that she borrowed from Martin Seligman’s new book, Flourish. It can easily be modified for middle school as well as elementary students. Imagine students from coast to coast all doing the same Thanksgiving homework!

KIPP Teachers:  Please make Melissa your colleague on KIPP Share and send her your questions, ideas, and inspirations about teaching excellent history courses at the secondary level.