Gratitude Journaling Prompts

Invite students to reflect on positive aspects of their lives and cultivate a sense of gratitude.
Ages 11-18 / 10
min Activity


  • Respond to journaling prompts that are designed to foster feelings of appreciation and thankfulness
  • Develop an increased awareness of of the good things in their lives

Supporting Research

Researchers have found that regular sessions of gratitude journaling are associated with an increased sense of well-being and optimism, and students are also more likely to report satisfaction with their school experiences, leading to positive outcomes around their academic and social success. This activity fosters students’ self-care and mindfulness as they identify and express feelings of gratitude and reflect on how these experiences support their mental, physical, and emotional health. 

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


Activity Partners

No items found.


  1. Introduce the activity to students by explaining: “When we practice gratitude, we notice the good things in our lives, and express appreciation for the feelings of happiness and peace that they spark in us. For example, we might be thankful for someone who has supported us, a moment of growth, or something beautiful that we saw. We’ll take time to reflect on these experiences by writing about them in our journals.” 
  2. At the end of the day, share one of the following prompts with students, and provide 5-10 minutes for them to write their reflections in a private journal. 

Journaling Prompts

  1. What was something kind or thoughtful that someone did for you today, and how did it make you feel?
  2. Write about a challenging moment you faced today and how you managed to overcome it, or what you learned from the experience.
  3. Reflect on a specific achievement or progress you made today, no matter how small, and why it matters to you.
  4. Name three things that made you smile or laugh today.
  5. Express gratitude for an educator, friend, or family member who supported you or made a positive impact on your day.
  6. Think about something beautiful that you saw today, like the sky or an interesting building, and describe what it looked like and how it made you feel. 
  7. Write about a simple pleasure or comfort you enjoyed today, like a favorite snack, a walk in nature, or a good book.
  8. Consider a setback or failure that you experienced recently. Describe what happened, and how it made you feel. Then, write down something you learned, and how this experience might help you approach similar situations differently in the future. 
  9. Share an aspect of your identity that is important to you and explain its significance. For example, does it make you feel stronger, more confident, or more connected to others?
  10. Who is someone in your school or community who you are grateful for, and might benefit from some extra appreciation? How can you express your gratitude for them?

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.