Appreciation leads to greater connection

Teacher Shawn is our Intermediate class teacher, with students ages 9 to 11 years old. Shawn was noticing that there was a need for more cohesion and empowerment among her female students. A class emerged for these students with the focus of fostering these qualities. Shawn designed this activity to nurture community among the girls in her class.

Appreciation Card Activity

1) We all sat in a circle, with the intention of thinking about the other people in our class.

2) Everyone had a card on a clipboard with their name on top.

3) We passed around the clipboard. With 1 minute each for each card, we wrote what we appreciated about the person whose name was at the top of the card. We eliminated common words like “cool, pretty, sweet, and nice” from the list of possible words. This allowed for the girls to dig deeper to find descriptive words.

4) Before the students looked at their own cards, everyone shared what it felt like to give appreciative comments to other people.

When the girls were asked what they enjoyed about the activity, each student lit up. Here’s what they shared:

“I liked hearing all the positive things people thought about me.”

“Since we took common, trite words away, we were forced to think about each other on

a deeper level”

“It was nice to have the time and space to think about others.”

“I liked expressing my feelings about everyone. It was fun!”

“It was nice to know that everyone appreciates you!”

“I felt like we were connected in some way.”

“I felt like I was appreciated by all.”

“I felt really connected with my friends because we could tell people our feelings, and how we felt about them. It felt really important to me.”

“I felt like I was part of something, and it felt really good to me. I liked seeing how we reacted to things in a good way.”