I Am Thankful! Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Students will explore and practice what it means to feel gratitude.


Social-Emotional Learning Focus:



ELA Skills:

key details, writing, vocabulary, opinion writing, sight words


Page 4 Skill:




gratitude, experiences, gratitude journal



RI.2.1, RI.2.4, RI.2.10, L.2.1, W.2.1, SL.2.3


Guided Reading Level:



Lexile Level:


Provide students with some background on gratitude.

Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video “Being Thankful.” After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following questions:

  • What kinds of things can you be thankful for? (Answers include: people, things in nature)
  • How can you show gratitude? (Answers include: say “thank you,” write a thank-you note, help out)
  • What are you thankful for? (Answers will vary.)

Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are gratitude, experiences, and gratitude journal.

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. Ask students to name the things the girl is thankful for. Do students feel gratitude for any of those things?
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 3: “Think about how you can show gratitude.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

  • The Thankful Search and Find game is not only fun but also builds vocabulary while reminding students of all the little things to be thankful for.

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important social-emotional and ELA skills. Here’s how.

Exit Ticket: Show What You Learned (5 min.)

  • Use our new Show What You Learned printable as a quick exit ticket! It asks students to revisit the As You Read prompt after they are done reading. If you are teaching remotely, this page is a great way to check students’ comprehension.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words gratitude, experiences, and gratitude journal.

Editor’s Pick: Problem and Solution (15 min.)

  • Every student is different—that’s why we’ve provided you with three different styles of journal-writing sheets! Students can choose one or try all three!
  • The first takes children on a gratitude scavenger hunt, challenging them to find something that makes them smile, a person who makes them laugh, and so on.
  • The second invites students to put gratitude into action! They list things they are grateful for and how they will show their gratitude!
  • The third invites students to look inward and reflect on their own skills and attributes that they feel gratitude for.

ELA Focus: Sight Words (15 min.)

  • The Color by Word skill sheet lets students practice sight words as they reveal a mystery picture of a cat and dog who are grateful to be friends!

 Here are two past issues you can use to further students’ social-emotional learning and foster great attitudes!

  • You Can Do It!, September 2018. This issue boosts children’s confidence when challenges come their way.
  • Friends Make It Fun!, September 2018. This issue gives great advice about building and keeping friendships.

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher-Lexile level: 510L
  • Lower-Lexile level: 440L