A few years ago, during Thanksgiving week, I began what I affectionately call “The Gratitude Project.” (You can read read more about it HERE and HERE.) Essentially, I forced my students–and myself–to carve out some time to reflect on the Good in our lives in the midst of all of the bad. We were inspired by Kid President, we looked at an experiment that the Science of Happiness conducted, writing similar letters to the influential people in our own lives, and we saw how gratitude is being expressed in ongoing global projects such as the 365 Grateful Project and Thnx4. I shared my own musings–in the midst of aging parents–both of whom have battled cancer and defeated the ICU in the last year alone. (My father was actually in the hospital while we were working on last year’s Gratitude Project and lost his battle to the cancer that had unknowingly returned fewer than than two months later.)
In addition to wanting my students to have a positive digital footprint (hence our Passion Blog Project and our use of Goodreads–among other 21st century learning opportunities), I wanted my students’ parents–and the world!–to see the fabulousness these students show me on a regular basis.
The result was a community slide deck where students expressed reasons for which they are thankful this year. Some contributions were light, others were heartfelt, but all reflected the diverse mix of grateful thinkers in Room 1227. Take a look below to see what these fabulous adolescents shared. (Click on the slide deck itself to advance to the next one.)