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As a way of motivating students and making them aware of all they have to be appreciative of, Mountaineer Middle School eighth grade Language Arts advisor, Chrisanne Diaz has incorporated a gratitude chain into her curriculum.
Each gratitude chain-link begins with a lesson for the students. Each lesson involves The Language Arts Magazine - Scholastic Scope, the magazine that brings attention to important social issues in a way eighth grade students can understand. The lessons include the stories of adults and children who have gone through trying times, but have come out making a difference in society.
By incorporating Scholastic Scope into her teaching, Diaz is showing her students that they can change the world the same way those in each lesson have done, and that during a trying time or a bad day there is always something to be grateful for. The lessons also show students what social issues they could be effected by if they lived in a different country or area of the world.
After each lesson, students are responsible for a link on the chain that states an aspect of their life they are grateful for. In a world where social media highlights the negative, Diaz wants her students to focus on the positive. The gratitude chain is constructed of at least 580 gratitude chain-links that have been provided by her eighth grade students. Some of the links include students being grateful for; their family, their home, and being born in America to include a few.
As US Admiral William H. McRaven said in a noted speech, “If you want to change the world start off by making your bed”. He continued in his speech, “If you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made, and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better”. Each chain-link provided by students shows them that they always have something to be grateful for, no matter the bad day.