Access the student reflection APP which provides an opportunity for students and teachers to reflect and respond to topic-specific prompts.
The purpose of this lesson is to help students learn how to identify what happiness looks like and feels like for themselves. Students will explore different ways to grow happiness.
Being happy is an important part of life, but sometimes it’s harder to find.
We have a lot of emotions, but happiness should happen every day.
We have power and control of our bodies and minds to grow happiness.
Being grateful, curious, and determined are some ways to grow happiness.
Activity 1: (10 minutes) PYRAMID ANCHOR CHART
Introduce the lesson with the slideshow and student check-in questions. Review the Pyramid of Happiness anchor chart. Review the third level of the pyramid and perform that action (wrap arms around yourself in a hug). Make the connection of finding happiness within ourselves and our life to the feeling of belonging and connection because of healthier, better friendship. Happiness can also increase self-esteem and help the overall health of students. Remind students about the actions associated with each level of the pyramid. Have a discussion:
Activity 2: (15 minutes) VIDEO & DISCUSSION
Review the emotions that have been focused on with the slideshow and video.
Discuss how each emotion feels. Partner students up and go through each emotion.
Activity 3: (15 minutes) DISCUSSION & SCIENCE CONNECTION
Discuss the following questions:
Read How to Grow Happiness by Kelly DiPucchio. Ask students to discuss with partners what they learned about growing happiness.
Allow for students to share with the whole group. Make connections with the group that in order to grow happiness, like seeds there are certain things we need to do. One of those things is being grateful.
Activity 4: (15 minutes) WRITING & DRAWING
Being grateful is a powerful way to grow our own happiness. It’s okay to have bad days—everyone does! But on bad days, it can be helpful to think about things in our life that we are grateful for. Keeping a gratitude journal is a healthy strategy to keep our minds and hearts positive.
Display the Gratitude Page where students can see and model writing or drawing several things you are grateful for as the teacher. Give each student a Gratitude Page to write or draw what they are grateful to have in their lives.
Display the pages around the room or allow students to share their thoughts.
Activity 5: (5 minutes) OUTSIDE GRATITUDE WALK
Going outside is one way we can grow happiness. Today we are going to combine two things by going on a gratitude walk OUTSIDE. Invite students to join you on a gratitude walk through the classroom, school, and outside play area. Invite students to take notice of things they are grateful for. Extend the activity from the previous day and invite students to write down something they are grateful for. *See extension activity and invite students to write down things they are grateful for on your classroom gratitude wall.
Activity 6: (5 minutes) SONG AND EXIT TICKET
Another way to grow happiness is to listen to happy music. Ask students if they have any songs that make them happy. If they are shared songs the class knows then take a minute and listen to or sing the songs.
This is a great time to share some of the songs that make you happy. Have a happiness dance party in the classroom and allow students a few minutes to dance and sing along. A few Happy songs are included in the list below if you need help getting started.
Consider using these songs during transitions or morning meetings. Have a final discussion with the class and ask them other things that make them happy. As an exit ticket for the day, consider having each student say something that makes them happy as they exit the classroom for the day. This could become a fun class tradition throughout this week or the school year.