Gratitude Activity Ideas Middle School 6th-8th:
Organize the older students to “adopt” younger students for the day. The students can eat lunch together, read to each other or play a game together.
Gather a collection of kindness stories from students, teachers, families and administrators. Publish and distribute the “book” to the school and community. Allow students to keep a few copies to give to people who have made a difference in their lives or offer to people as a Random Act of Gratitude.
Hold a teddy bear drive and collect new and used teddy bears throughout the school and community. Also, ask the student council for funding to buy more bears. Gather all of the teddy bears and donate them to the police or fire station to be distributed to fire victims and/or cancer patients at the local children’s hospital.
Plan a classroom or school recycling effort. Contact a local agency to see if it would be willing to remove your recyclables. Find out how they must be sorted and stored. Collect and recycle everything you can. Contact your local media for publicity of your efforts.
Start a ribbon campaign and give out kindness ribbons to be worn and passed on to another. Your class could sign the back before passing them along. Gather the “completed” ribbons and give them to the local shopping mall, municipal building or city hall to be displayed.
Conduct a Gratitude and Kindness Search. Have the students look online for stories about acts of kindness and summarize the story for the rest of the class. Keep a file of all the stories and make a “kindness book” to be handed down through the years.
Put up a “Gratitude Zone” signs at the entrances to your school and classroom to remind people to remember to practice Random Acts of Kindness.
Talk to the school or town library about forgiving late fines during Gratitude Week. In return, volunteer to help librarians with book organization, cleaning and landscaping.
Create and deliver baskets of Gratitude/Kindness for the elderly or shut-ins. Talk with local merchants and ask for free supplies or ideas. Take a class field trip to deliver the baskets.
Create a special dessert(s) to bring to school and deliver them as a group to seniors, church groups, hospitals and/or nursing home residents. Be sure to include Gratitude stories or Gratitude-themed desserts.
Set up a free coffee and/or hot chocolate station near a heavily commuted area. Pass out hot drinks to the morning drivers. Be sure to have a banner and a smile to promote Random Acts of Gratitude activities, ideas and gestures.
Hold a canned food drive and give the food to your local food bank or shelters for the homeless. Be sure to include some kindness cards or books with the delivery.
Sponsor the planting of a Gratitude Tree. With the help of youth groups, service clubs or other volunteers, plant the tree or flowers in a public area of the school grounds. Display a Gratitude Plaque by the display for others to read about Kindness. This could also be done in a public park or walking trail.
Volunteer to tutor younger students in your school with math, science, spelling, etc.
Set up a Janitor Appreciation Day and have your class clean the school for the janitor(s). Be sure to make a banner or card telling your janitor(s) how much they are appreciated. A Gratitude basket could also be given to these special people.
Write a Gratitude note to all relatives and special friends letting them know why they are so special.
Plan a school-wide Gratitude nomination campaign where students can nominate fellow students and faculty whom they have observed committing a Random Act of Gratitude. Nominations should be posted in a visible place. At the end of the campaign, all the nominations can be used in a drawing for prizes.
Start a Random Act of Gratitude Club and commit to doing at least one Random Act of Gratitude per week. Record everything and turn in a “journal” as a final project or extra credit.
Make hearts for Valentine’s Day and post them all over the school. Include the name of one student, teacher, administrator, janitor, volunteer, etc., and write a Gratitude act to complete on each heart. Be sure that students find their hearts and complete their assigned task. Record comments and thoughts about the activity from students and staff members and publish them in the school newspaper.
Your school’s student council or Gratitude Club can sponsor an activity each day during National Gratitude Week and can announce the events each morning over the intercom. Some activity ideas include: A trash pick-up, a visit to a local senior home, homeless shelter, children’s hospital, animal shelter, etc.
Promote special classroom recycling projects. The profits can benefit a special Random Act of Gratitude activity or local cause.
Study kind people in history. Have students illustrate their Gratitude works and discuss them in class or write a report.
Make individual “check lists” for students during National Gratitude Week and encourage each student to complete some or all of the Random Acts of Gratitude gestures listed. Activities could include: helping neighbors weed their lawns; writing a note to a supervisor of someone who has helped you, thanking them for have such a wonderful employee; leaving enough money in the vending machine for the next person to get a fee treat; picking up litter; offering to baby-sit for a mother with young children to give her a day or evening to herself; surprising someone in your house with breakfast in bed (and cleaning up the kitchen); shoveling your neighbor’s driveway or mowing the lawn; smiling and saying thank you to the bus driver; putting a quarter in an expired parking meter and doing anything else that is showing gratitude and kindness.