Gratitude Journaling Worksheet

Character Ed / SEL worksheet for grades K-4
-- printable PDF or use fillable fields for remote learning

Gratitude Journaling Worksheet / Template for K-4 Character Ed / SEL

Activity to Building Empathy, Kindness

Objective

Gratitude Journaling has been shown to increase empathy, reduce agression, improve self-esteem and more. Children complete a week-long gratitude journal, noting things they are thankful for.

Grade Level

K - 4

For older students, try this gratitude journaling activity for teens, from our sister site, Truth Be Told Quotes.

Character / SEL Topics

  • Self awareness
  • Positive relationships
  • Empathy
  • Self Esteem

Resources

Our PDFs are free to print or share for non-commercial use, meaning you are welcome to link to our website for educational purposes, add PDFs to your Google classroom or print PDFs for in-class use.

Gratitude Journaling Activity

Optional Related Resources

Procedures

Looking for a social emotional learning activity that increases positive attitudes and enthusiasm? Try gratitude journaling. Research shows that people who note something they are thankful for each week have a more positive outlook and are more likely to reach their goals. They also are more likely to show empathy and kindness to others.

Benefits of gratitude journaling

Gratitude journaling provides tons of social emotional benefits for kids (and adults.) According to research just a few of the benefits kids can gain from gratitude journaling are:

  • Increases empathy
  • Reduces aggression
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Increases determination and the ability to reach goals
  • Improves relationships
  • Improves physical health

For young people in particular, a study shows that children who note things they are grateful for have more positive attitudes toward school and family while young adults who kept gratitude journals had higher levels of determination and more positive states of alertness. So if you want to help kids and teens increase empathy, kindness and positive attitudes toward life, give a gratitude journal a try.

How the gratitude journal works

Print one of the worksheets above (or post the PDF and students can type in fillable fields in the online version) and have students note something each day that they are thankful for. It can be something simple, like "it's sunny today", or something heartfelt, like "my dog comforted me when I was sad." The important step is to have kids pause for a moment each day to recognize something that makes them thankful in their life. According to researchers, gratitude journals help people manage the ups and downs of emotions, and remind them that even when we are sad, there are happy things to cheer us up.

Reflect at the end of the week

At the end of the week, encourage students to look back at the things they noted, and to observe whether the journal affected their outlook. Plus the repetitive pattern coloring on the worksheet makes a nice mindfulness activity to calm students and to prompt reflection.