The Power of Gratitude
We at Rainbow make it a habit to practice gratitude – not just around Thanksgiving – but all during the school year.
It happens in centerings, and teachers work to instill the two words, “thank you” into every student.
As Renee mentioned in her November Kaleidoscope, the practice of gratitude can boost happiness, optimism, overall life satisfaction, and more. So much more.
Around Rainbow, we speak a lot about the 7 Domains and how each teacher carefully plans lessons that integrate each one. Like a puzzle piece, gratitude fits beautifully into each domain, making it easy for students to become mindful of the power of gratitude.
In the days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving break, students engaged in centerings and activities to help drive home the idea of a solid practice of giving thanks.
All over campus, students participated in centerings, song circles, and wrote things they were thankful for on leaves to create a gratitude tree.
Indeed, students have a powerful sense of appreciation. We went to the After School to ask students what they were thankful for. They all instantly came up with life’s most precious and priceless gifts: family, friends, animals, nature.
Take a look for yourself:
Activities Around Campus
Gratitude is about connection.
In Preschool (Blue Door), they asked “What are you connected to?” This led to a discussion about how we’re all connected to the elements of the earth, how we feel love, and that gratitude is part of that.
The first grade Cheetahs made turkeys with feathers of gratitude. Fourth grade culminated their archaeology unit with a centering that incorporated appreciation for studying archeological discoveries.
Song circle this week incorporated songs about family, spending time in the woods, and the “Best Day of My Life.”
We invite all students to lead their families in a centering with a focus on gratitude over break. They will know what to do.
However, if you would like some ideas, here are some ways to incorporate a centering with your child.
- Gather in a circle. Take three deep breaths. You can optionally light a candle.
- Have everyone in your circle write down something for which they are thankful and put it into a jar. When everyone’s finished, each person can randomly take out a slip of paper and read it aloud. Younger students who are learning to write will need help with this activity.
- A variation of this could be to go outside, or to write down thoughts of gratitude on a ball and have people in the circle catch it and read off a line of gratitude nearest their right or left thumb. This activity can have so many variations!
- Have your child say a blessing over your food.
- Close with three more deep breaths.
For more ideas, a quick check on a search engine will give you many to choose from.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. — Melody Beattie
In closing, we hope that all Rainbow families, friends, staff, and students have a wonderful holiday break!
We are grateful for all the love you give, the hope, the inspiration, the peace, mindfulness, and how you give back to the earth.