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 gives students examples of people and things we might be thankful for in each circle of the Wheel of Gratitude. The teacher pairs up students, or they choose their own partners. Each pair writes at least one thing in each circle (Body, Community, Mother Nature) they are grateful for on sticky notes and places on the Wheel of Gratitude. Once complete, have students pause, practice a breath and notice how everyone within the circles are connected.
  2. Engage in Service: Using the template provided, students draft what they want to say in a gratitude letter to a person they are thankful for.
  3. Ask students to draft their answers to these questions: Why are you thankful for this person? What kind things does this person do for you, or how does this person treat you with kindness? How does this make you feel?
  4. Students write a letter of gratitude on the page with the “Gratitude Letter” stamp. 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?