6 Creative prompts to give “What are you thankful for...” a new twist

Gratitude allows us to be more present and aware while simultaneously refocusing our attention on the ‘good’. However, questions like "what are you thankful for" can also feel intimidating. Moreover, when asked repeatedly, students might default to answers like “family” or “friends”. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with these answers, sometimes more specific prompts can elicit deeper and more significant responses.

The gratitude prompts below are meant to challenge students to think more acutely about their appreciation of the world. Encourage students to respond to the questions through art, a gratitude journal or by setting a GiveThx task.

-Gratitude prompt one: “What personal strengths are you grateful for and how have they helped you in life?”

This prompt is useful to help students introspect and realize the greatness they have within themselves. It builds confidence and metacognition skills.

-Gratitude prompt two: “What dream or desire of yours are you grateful for and why?”

By answering this questions students will be encouraged to continue aspiring towards their ambitions and may notice that their aspirations can be directly linked to their personal characteristics.

-Gratitude prompt three: “Think about the impact you’ve had on others. What have you learned from the gratitude they have shared with you?
Often we might not be aware of our affect on others until someone expresses gratitude towards us. Receiving gratitude from another person not only helps us to realize our strengths but also assists us to recognize we are an important part of our community.

-Gratitude prompt four: “Take a moment to look outside. What’s something you are grateful for in nature?”

When students notice nature they realize its beauty and serene feelings the natural world can evoke. Reflecting on nature’s enchanting features reminds us of our role in preserving and taking care of our planet.

-Gratitude prompt five: “Write your name vertically down the center of the page. For each letter, list something you are grateful for. Use the letters for any part of the words you list.”

Using letters of students’ names helps them to narrow their focus on certain letters. Doing this helps  perhaps identify something they might not have thought of otherwise.

-Gratitude prompt six: “Reflect on experiences that have brought you to this moment in time. Write a thank you letter to your past self.

Our lives are filled with many important moments. Looking backwards helps us meaningfully identify and sort through our memories. This sorting exercise often makes students that they are grateful for many things all at once.