Igniting Critical and Creative Thinking


Teaching gratitude becomes a focus of my instruction as soon as November’s golden leaves signal the onset of Thanksgiving. One of the most valuable ways of teaching gratitude is through sharing. This year, I am thrilled to collaborate with 16 devoted teachers who share the mission of nurturing gratitude and spreading the happiness that comes from appreciating our blessings. Together, we are celebrating gratitude with an exciting event called the Count Your Blessings Giveaway and Blog Hop, where we are collectively giving away TpT gift cards worth $400 and more than 16 complimentary resources!

In my own journey as a teacher, I’m profoundly grateful for the endless curiosity and enthusiasm of the many students I taught over my 41 years as a gifted specialist. Their bright eyes and eager minds embodied the transformative power of teaching and the invaluable gift of learning. It’s in these moments of shared discovery and growth that I find tremendous gratitude.


At the heart of every classroom is the potential for a culture of gratitude to take root and flourish. Teaching gratitude and thankfulness isn’t just about good manners; it’s a powerful tool that can transform the way students interact with the world and each other.

  1. Enhanced Emotional Well-being: Gratitude encourages a positive outlook on life. When students learn to focus on what they have rather than what they lack, they develop a sense of contentment and happiness that is essential for their emotional well-being.
  2. Improved Social Skills: Acknowledging the good in others and expressing thankfulness strengthens social bonds. Children who practice gratitude show increased empathy and understanding towards their peers, fostering a more inclusive and supportive classroom environment.
  3. Resilience Building: In times of challenge or change, a grateful mindset can be a powerful anchor. Grateful children are more likely to face difficulties with a positive attitude, seeing challenges as opportunities for growth.
  4. Academic Motivation: Studies have shown that gratitude can enhance academic engagement and motivation. When students feel grateful for their educational opportunities, they are more likely to participate actively and value their learning experiences.
  5. Long-term Benefits: Instilling a sense of gratitude in students can have lasting effects on their future. Grateful individuals often carry these positive habits into adulthood, leading to more fulfilling personal and professional lives.


How to Enter:

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Using the picture book When Grandma Gives You A Lemon Tree is a great way to teach gratitude. This book tells the story of a girl who receives a lemon tree as a gift from her grandma instead of the electronic device she had hoped for. Through the girl’s journey of taking care of the tree and learning about its value, she realizes the importance of gratitude and appreciating the simple joys in life. By reading and discussing this book with children, you can emphasize the message of being grateful for what we have and finding joy in unexpected situations.

I have created a picture book company to accompany the book which is great to use with students in grades 2-5. When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree is the perfect picture book to teach your kids about Gratitude, lemon trees, and giving back to the community. This Print and Go Book Companion promotes critical and creative thinking. It teaches students to analyze and interpret literature and develops comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills. You can get a FREE copy of this book companion by completing the form below.


Incorporating teaching gratitude into your classroom doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your teaching style. Simple, daily practices can make a significant difference.

  1. Gratitude Circle: Start or end the day with a gratitude circle. Each student shares one thing they are grateful for. This can range from something that happened over the weekend to a small act of kindness they witnessed or experienced.
  2. Thank You Notes: Encourage students to write thank you notes to school staff, peers, or family members. This not only fosters gratitude but also improves their writing and expression skills.
  3. Gratitude Jar: Create a classroom gratitude jar where students can drop in notes of things they are thankful for. Once a week, read some of these notes aloud to the class. It’s a wonderful way to share and celebrate small joys.
  4. Kindness Challenge: Initiate a kindness challenge where students perform random acts of kindness and reflect on how these acts made them feel. This can be as simple as helping a classmate, sharing a smile, or offering a compliment.
  5. Gratitude Tree: Create a bulletin board with a tree, and have students add leaves with written notes of what they’re thankful for. This visual representation can be a powerful reminder of all the positive things in their lives.
  6. Reflective Journals: Use the gratitude journal freebie mentioned earlier to encourage students to write about things they are grateful for. This can be an excellent way for them to process their feelings and reflect on their day.
  7. Gratitude-Themed Reading: Incorporate books and stories that focus on thankfulness and appreciation. This can spark meaningful discussions and provide relatable examples of gratitude in action.

Each of these sellers is giving away free resources and a $25 TpT gift card. Click on each link to go to their post and get your goodies!

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hey y'all

I'm Susan!

I’m Susan Morrow and I help overwhelmed teachers create thinking classrooms where students discover the joy in learning and achieving.

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