When my two sons were in elementary school, my wife and I created a supper time ritual called The Grateful Game. Every evening, Sophie, the boys, and I would take turns to briefly describe one aspect of our day for which we were thankful.








  • resilient – tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune, change
  • eponymous – giving one’s name to something
  • fiend – an evil and cruel person
  • contented – pleased, satisfied
  • to trudge – to move slowly especially while carrying something heavy
  • gritty – showing bravery and spirit
  • to pluck up your courage – to force yourself to be brave enough to do sth
  • fad – craze, trend
  • in the teeth of – in spite of
  • to crowd out – to press, force sth out of a place or situation by filling its space

Match these sentence halves:

1. It’s strange to think

2. Great thinkers have long identified gratitude

3. In King Lear, Shakespeare has his eponymous hero angrily accuse his ungrateful daughter Goneril

4. No surprise that most of us have parents who insisted

5. We all inherit an individual benchmark for cheerfulness rooted

6. Coronavirus has transformed mindfulness

7. Happiness has come into sharp focus in

8. The Grateful Game started dinner on a positive

a) of being a “marble-hearted fiend”.

b) the teeth of the pandemic.

c)  I now conduct similar gratitude exercises with senior executives on my leadership programs at London Business School.

d) in our genes and upbringing.

e) on “thank yous” like marine corps drill instructors.

f) as a desirable trait of an emotionally mature mind.

g) footing and crowded out bad behavior.

h) – the ability to focus on the present moment without judgment.

 ANSWERS: 1c; 2f; 3a; 4e; 5d; 6h; 7b; 8g

Practice Makes Perfect

WORD FORMATION: Change the word in CAPITALS to fill in the blanks.

You can check your answers here:  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gratitude-map-invites-use

“Gratitude” Map Invites Users to Accentuate the Positive

A new online map encourages users to document and celebrate the good things in life, a practice that some research suggests may bolster immune system function and increase feelings of well-being. (…)

1.(GRATITUDE) …………people have posted these bright spots on the World Gratitude Map, a crowd-sourcing project with an uplifting mission. “That is what drove the World Gratitude Map, the idea of giving people the chance to create small moments for themselves to make themselves rich through their own action,” said Jacqueline Lewis, one of the project’s 2. (CREATE) ……..s. Lewis is a writer with an interest in 3. (RESILIENT) ……….. , otherwise known as bouncing back. (…)

4. (PSYCHOLOGY) …………Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, has studied gratitude and defines it in two parts: First, gratitude is an affirmation of 5. (GOOD) ………… in the world, and second, gratitude requires the 6. (RECOGNISE) …………. that the sources of this goodness exists outside of individuals. (…) a study he and a colleague published in 2003 showed that those who recorded things that had made them grateful had an improved sense of well-being, slept better and more, felt a greater sense of 7. (OPTIMISTIC) ……… and 8. (CONNECT) ………. to others. “Results suggest that a conscious focus on 9. (BLESS) ………s may have emotional and interpersonal benefits,” Emmons and colleague Michael McCullough wrote in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. They noted that the benefits are most pronounced when compared to a focus on 10. (COMPLAIN) ………. and hassles.

 ANSWERS: 1. grateful; 2. creators; 3. resilience; 4. psychologist; 5. goodness; 6. recognition; 7. optimism; 8. connectedness; 9. blessings; 10. complaints


  • Do you consider yourself a grateful person?
  • What do you think of “World Gratitude Map”?
  • Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude. (Confucius) Would you agree?
  • Why is gratitude so hard for some people?
  • Has it ever been hard for you to thank someone for something they’ve done for you?


Explore it more to create your own teaching-learning experience!

The Dark Side of Gratitude

Why saying ‘thanks’ can be detrimental