8 Books To Teach Gratitude

5 min to read
Child Reading a Book
Studies show that practicing gratitude helps improve mood, deepen social bonds, and increase self-esteem. Learning how to practice gratitude at a young age can also help foster a lifetime of focusing on what goes right versus what goes wrong.  

If you’re looking for some new books to add to your student’s reading list, try Connections Academy’s list of books about gratitude for kids!  

The following stories are perfect for showing your child the meaning of gratitude. These easy-to-read books for kindergarten through fifth grade are perfect tools to engage your child in reading while teaching them life lessons in thankfulness. 

Books on Gratitude for Elementary Students

To help your kids learn to practice being thankful, books for kids on gratitude can be a great resource. The following is a resource list of eight inspiring books on gratitude for elementary students. 

1. Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora and John Parra

Gracias/Thanks is a bilingual book for elementary students, written from the perspective of a young boy who is biracial (Mexican and Caucasian). He tells the reader about things he is thankful for. Your student can read this story and follow along in both English and Spanish. This book is great to help young students learn how to express gratitude, and it is also a natural way for students to practice reading in Spanish

2. Gratitude is My Superpower by Alicia Ortego

Gratitude is My Superpower is a charming story about being thankful for the simple things in life that are actually the big things, like friendship and family. This book helps young kids foster appreciation and focus on the positive things in life. It even includes a journal for you and your student to practice gratitude together. 

3. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

This story follows the most beautiful fish in the sea, who, in the beginning, is reluctant to share his beautiful sparkling scales. Once he realizes that he can raise the spirits of the fish around him by sharing his beautiful scales with them, the rainbow fish finds true happiness, makes friends, and learns to be thankful for the important things in life. 

4. Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

Bear Says Thanks is a heartfelt story about how to be thankful for the people around you. After Bear decides to throw a feast with friends, he realizes his cupboards are bare! His friends each graciously bring a dish to the feast, and Bear thanks each friend individually for their generosity. 

5. All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee

All the World teaches children to be grateful for all the wonderful gifts in life, both big and small. The story follows a family throughout their day and explores the simple beauties of life. The illustrations will draw your child in, but the story will be what sticks with them.

6. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss

This classic Dr. Seuss book reviews a myriad of extreme situations that will encourage your child to contemplate how lucky he or she is. Sitting on a cactus, an old man uses humor to describe a number of situations that the young boy sitting beside him is lucky to not have to endure. This is one of the great classic books on gratitude for elementary students to read.  

7. Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes and Cozbi A. Cabrera

This collection of sixteen poems illustrates the power of showing gratitude toward others. Thanks a Million explores different scenarios in which characters express thankfulness and helps children understand the impact of a simple thank-you.

8. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

This emotional tale about an ever-changing relationship between a boy and a tree takes the reader through a journey of giving and self-sacrifice. The story begins with a young boy who loves a tree. He plays on its branches, eats its apples, and slides down its trunk. The Giving Tree is a classic tale of what it means to be thankful and that there are various ways to show gratitude and love. 

Tips for Reading About Gratitude

To get even more benefits out of reading about gratitude, try the following tips: 
  • Read aloud about gratitude. Reading words of gratitude out loud gives words that extra power and emphasizes the meaning for the student. 
  • Pick a gratitude phrase each day. When your student has finished reading one of the following books on gratitude for elementary students, have them choose a word or phrase of gratitude to focus on. One idea is starting each phrase with: “I’m thankful for _____.” Encourage your student to pick a new gratitude word or phrase each day or each week. 
To learn how you can be more involved in your children’s education and enjoy the rewards of helping them succeed, visit the website for Connections Academy online public school. Or, to learn about online private school, visit Pearson Online Academy.  
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