Use Writing to Express Gratitude and Make Connections

There are many ways to help students improve their communication skills by writing for an authentic audience. School may not look the same right now, but gratitude and thank you notes are more important than ever. The end of this non-traditional school year is upon us, and there are many reasons to celebrate and be thankful. It’s the perfect time to show gratitude. Teach the art of writing thank you notes and let your kids show their appreciation for those who have helped them, especially throughout the school year.

Thank You Notes

Saying thank you through social media is the current norm, but a handwritten note can become a cherished memento. When asked what gesture would make teachers feel appreciated, many said a note from their students and parents would do the trick. Parent volunteers, bus drivers, playground supervisors, custodians, cafeteria workers, school staff, and any others who have played a helping role will welcome a word of thanks this time of year. Thank you notes send the message that helpers are greatly appreciated.

Follow this link for a “how to” on thank you notes. Then download this stationary.

A Time for Journal Writing

Gratitude Journals

The benefits of expressing gratitude are well documented—and studied. An incredibly popular class offered at Yale (Psychology and the Good Life) requires students to keep a gratitude journal as a homework assignment. There is no time like the present for everyone (kids and parents, too) to reflect on all the good in their lives. A gratitude journal may involve simply writing 3 positive things that have happened on any given day.

Dialogue Journals

Teachers use dialogue journals to foster relationships with their students. A dialogue journal involves 2 or 3 writers who share ideas about a topic in a back-and-forth way. A parent-child journal could work the same way. Writers use the same journal to communicate. For instance, the student writes about feelings, a new learning, a problem to be solved, or any topic. Then, the parent (teacher) reads the entry and writes a response in the student’s journal. These 30 Journal Prompts for Kids from Parents magazine are appropriate for adults and kids and will help you get started.

Individual Journal

There is plenty of research that supports the benefits of individual journal writing. Some include boosting memory, improving mood, encouraging creativity, and enhancing writing and communication skills. Journal writing can also help manage stress and be an instrument for expressing emotion. In this time of particular stress, Journal Buddies offers 48 Pandemic Journal Prompts to get students started.

And after long periods of writing and reflecting, get some physical activity by doing the Original Gratitude Dance with your family. They will be thanking you! Along with math and language arts practice, Summer Solutions offers journals for primary students as well as journals for older students.


Confident Kids!

Summer Solutions workbooks allow students to get the practice they need so that they can continue learning all summer long. Kids return to school with confidence. Ordering is easy and the books are sent directly to your house. Order today!            

Post Author: Pat K

Pat K. is a retired elementary teacher who has found a new career as a writer for Simple Solutions. She holds a Masters Degree and National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. She enjoys the Cleveland Indians, Ohio State Buckeyes, golf, and learning new things, (which is why she loves working at Simple Solutions)!

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