Book Club: Gratitude

Read and discuss books about expressing gratitude for others.
Ages 5-14 / 30
min Activity
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Objectives

  • Read books about practicing and expressing gratitude
  • Share their insights and personal experiences during a follow-up discussion

Supporting Research

Research shows that reading narratives (nonfiction and fiction) supports students in developing empathy, perspective taking, and social competence by providing them with the opportunity to simulate characters’ worlds, emotions, and behaviors. Educators should encourage students to practice perspective taking and emotion recognition to understand and connect with the experiences described in the texts, and consider actions they can take to foster more kindness and inclusivity in their communities.

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Materials

Activity Partners

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Ages 5-7 years old: Thank You, Omu

Reflect on how we can express gratitude after reading the book "Thank You, Omu" by Oge Mora.

Discussion questions:

  • Why do you think Omu shares her stew with others in her community? How do the others feel when Omu shows them generosity?
  • How does Omu feel when she sees she has no stew left? How does she feel when her community shows up to share their food with her?
  • Has someone ever shared something with you? How did you show them gratitude?
  • What are some ways you can thank others when they are generous with you?

Ages 8-10 years old: Thanks a Million

Reflect on how we can express gratitude after reading the book "Thanks a Million" by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera.

Discussion questions:

  • What are the characters in the poems grateful for? How did they express their gratitude? 
  • What did the poems make you think about your own life? Have you ever experienced anything similar, or something different, from what the authors described? 
  • How have you expressed you were thankful for others in the past? What are some other ways you can thank others?

Ages 11-14 years old: Tiny Gratitudes

Reflect on what we learned about expressing gratitude after reading the book "Tiny Gratitudes" by Brooke Rothshank.

Discussion questions: 

  • What feelings do you notice as you explore the images and short meditations/poems in this book?
  • Does this book make you think about gratitude differently? If so, how?
  • Reflect on your own “tiny gratitudes.” What makes you feel thankful for these items, moments, people, etc.?

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.