In today’s fast-paced world, sometimes it’s tough to slow down and appreciate all the wonderful things in our lives. However, practicing gratitude is a great way to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and generally increase happiness levels—and it’s also simply the nice thing to do!
Teaching kids about gratitude is important for these reasons and many more—particularly as kids transition into the tween and teen years. Between hormones and increased social pressures, it’s easy for middle-schoolers to get overwhelmed and feel like their lives are ruined over even small things. However, taking time to actively practice gratitude and to stop and appreciate what they do have can give students some much-needed perspective—and in some cases, even a new outlook on life.
With that in mind, we’ve created 35 all-new gratitude journal prompts for middle school students to use in your classroom this year! As they reflect on their own experiences with receiving and offering gratitude, students will better understand the importance of showing appreciation. And as they stretch their brains to consider some of the often-overlooked things they are thankful to have in their lives, they’ll develop a deeper sense of gratitude for their own good fortunes.
Use these gratitude journal prompts for middle-schoolers this year to help your students see just how much there is to appreciate in life!
35 Gratitude Journal Prompts
- How often do you stop and think about what you are grateful for? How could you do this more often?
- How do you feel when someone shares their gratitude for you or something you’ve done?
- Write about a time when you thanked someone and you could tell it made them really happy.
- Why is it important to practice gratitude?
- Do you ever find it difficult to be grateful? Why or why not?
- Think of something good you did for yourself recently and write yourself a thank-you note.
- Write a thank-you note to a friend for the part he or she played in a special memory.
- Write a thank-you note to your parents for any topic of your choice.
- Write a thank-you note to your most prized possession for the purpose it serves in your life.
- Write a thank-you note to someone you don’t know well who impacted you recently.
- Make a list of all the people you are grateful to have in your life. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Make a list of physical capabilities you are grateful to have. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Make a list of aspects of nature you are grateful to be able to experience. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Make a list of things your parents have done for you that you are grateful for. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Make a list of things about school that make you feel grateful. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- What are some good ways to show your gratitude when someone does something nice for you?
- Describe the feeling of gratitude with as much detail as you can. Use adjectives and metaphors to be as creative as you wish!
- Write about a time when someone expected you to be grateful but you weren’t. What happened? How did you handle the situation?
- Write about a time when you had to express gratitude for a gift you didn’t really like. What did you say or do?
- Write about a time when someone failed to show their appreciation for you. How did that make you feel?
- Try keeping a gratitude journal for a full day and record as many items as possible. Then, at the end of the day, write about your experience.
- Make a list of 100 things you are grateful for. Then, write about whether or not it was tough to come up with that many items.
- Make a list of things you often take for granted but that you are very thankful to have. What are some ways that you could try to recognize these things more often?
- Make a list of experiences in your life you are grateful to have had. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Do you think you would benefit from keeping a daily or weekly gratitude journal? Why or why not?
- Write about a time when you had trouble expressing the depth of your gratitude. What did you do?
- Why is it so important to show our gratitude to others? What happens if you fail to do so?
- Does practicing gratitude ever change your mood or outlook? Describe your experience.
- Write about a time when something made you unhappy—but you eventually came to feel grateful for it in the end. What caused your perspective to change?
- Do you ever find it difficult to feel gratitude? Why or why not?
- Make a list of things that exist in the world that you are grateful for. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Make a list of basic necessities that you are grateful you don’t have to worry about. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Make a list of lessons you are grateful to have learned. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Make a list of experiences you are grateful that you will have the opportunity to have in the future. Then, choose one to write about in detail.
- Make a list of things you were grateful for as a child. Then, choose one to write about in detail and describe why it was so meaningful to you.
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