Mindful Service Learning Curriculum Module 1 Unit 3

Choosing a Wide Perspective


  1. Students understand what gratitude is.
  2. Students use the Wheel of Gratitude to identify things they are grateful for.

SEL Competencies

Self-Awareness, Growth Mindset


Regularly practicing an abundance of gratitude has benefits at the individual and societal level. It builds “feel good” neural pathways in the brain, which produces positive effects on our physical, mental, cognitive, and social health. Gratitude is often described as “social glue” in relationships, and it inspires people to be more generous, kind, and helpful (Allen, S., 2018). All of these things combined make us more motivated and capable to “do good”.

Core Concept

Practicing an abundance of gratitude in multiple spheres of our lives widens our perspectives and inspires us to be more generous, kind, and helpful.

Student Extension

Write a Gratitude Letter

  1. Self-Reflect & Brainstorm: Before the lesson begins, the teacher draws a large Wheel of Gratitude with the 3 concentric circles on the board. Teacher labels the inner circle “Body”, the middle circle “Community”, and the outer circle “Mother Nature”. Teacher gives students examples of people and things we might be thankful for in each circle. Teacher asks each student to name at least one thing they are grateful for. Teacher writes them in the Wheel of Gratitude circles. Once complete, have students pause, practice a breath and notice how everyone within the circles are connected.
  2. Engage in Service: Teacher shows students an example of a gratitude letter. Using the template provided, students write a gratitude letter to a person they are thankful for.
  3. Ask students to draw or write their answers to these questions in the letter: Why are you thankful for this person? What kind things does this person do for you? How do the kind things this person does make you feel?
  4. Students deliver the letter to the person or share them aloud.
  5. Reflect on Service: After students share their letters, engage in a discussion or journaling using these prompts: Why did you choose the person you did? How have they made a difference in your life? How did it feel to express gratitude to the person you chose?

Optional Reflections

Why did you choose the person you did? 

How have they made a difference in your life? 

How did it feel to express gratitude to the person you chose?