Teaching Gratitude: Brookwood Elementary

Teaching Gratitude

…is what Brookwood Elementary teacher Susan Phillippi is all about.  She taught in Indiana and Tennessee before joining the team at Brookwood in Forsyth County, GA as a Third Grade Teacher. It was upon arriving at Brookwood that she first encountered the 7 Mindsets. She was kind enough to host Chelsea and Mahmoud in her classroom to demonstrate her approach to teaching gratitude (Attitude of Gratitude Mindset).

Brookwood Elementary School Lesson Demo

We love this video. It captures how a third grade teacher is able to do something that many educators find confusing: teaching gratitude.  She uses a lesson from the 7 Mindsets Academy portal [www.7mindsetsacademy.net] to communicate foundational yet abstract concepts.

Instead of a disconnect from her daily lessons, Susan goes about teaching gratitude in the exact same environment and format as she approaches more straightforward academic subjects, while relying upon small group collaboration, formative assessment and interaction to empower each child’s voice. This way, the students are encouraged to learn and work through the social and emotional learning dimension of gratitude from their own perspective.

This one is a favorite, especially when Ms. Phillippi confides that her life motto is, “have a grateful heart.”

The Attitude of Gratitude mindset begins simply with being thankful. Susan explores how one of the best ways to feel better and become happier is to do something for someone else.  And one of the easiest and most powerful things to do for someone else is express gratitude for who they are and what they do.  In fact, thanking someone provides two wonderful gifts:  it makes the other person feel good, and allows you to be happier, too. This translates easily to her 3rd grade class.

Ms. Phillippi sees the work of teaching gratitude as quite simple. She begins by showing her students a video about things to be thankful for.  Then she reviews the ideas her students had for some things they themselves are grateful for.  No kid has a hard time coming up with things they’re happy to have in their lives, with answers from “a warm bath” to “my family” to “bubble wrap” all being volunteered.

Her approach to teaching gratitude continues as the class talks about what thankfulness really means, and the importance of showing gratitude to others by simply saying “Thank you!” She then leads the students through an activity in which they sit and share with each other, one at a time, why they’re thankful for one another.

Thanks for sharing your lesson with us, Susan!

Learn more about 7 Mindsets Academy here.

Follow Brookwood on Twitter here.

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