Teaching children about kindness is just as important as teaching them the core subjects such as math ad science. It helps them feel good about themselves, develop an understanding of their capabilities and become better human beings.
It also teaches students how to work together and appreciate each other’s contributions. As their mindset changes, your students will learn how to be more compassionate and empathetic toward other people’s cultures, religions, views and so much more.
This takes time but as these skills are acquired, it will serve as an added benefit to you in your classroom as your children will be happier and more engaged in your class. This is a subtle way of improving your behavior and classroom management, which will save your sanity.
Before we get into the four main activities, I want to remind you that you should review or pre-teach the meaning of kindness. You can do this by reading a book about what kindness looks and feels like. Follow it up with a class discussion about the book and then engage in one of the following four simple and fun kindness activities for your students. This will have more of an impact on your students than just delving into the activities as not everyone may have learned about the concept of kindness.
#1. Deck The Board
Download or purchase some simple writing templates , and put them in a visible spot for your students to take them when they complete an act of kindness. They can write what they did on their template and give it to you. You can then post it on your bulletin board.
For 100s Day at school, my students and I aimed to do 100 acts of kindness. The following image is the bulletin board outside my class. When I took this picture, we hadn’t completed 100 acts yet but we were getting there. I started putting up their templates as soon as they started because it served as a form of motivation for them. Other students loved reading about what my students were up to, my students’ parents enjoyed this activity in part because of what it stood for but also because their kids were running home to tell them about their contribution to our bulletin board.
#2. Fill The Jar
This is a super simple activity and won’t require a lot of work from you. All you need is a see-through jar and some pieces of paper that are cut up into squares. If you have access to colored paper, that’s even better, but it’s not essential. The jar is see-through and not colored so that your students can see their progress.
Keep the pieces of paper in a visible place for your children so that they can easily take a slip when they need it.
Essentially, when your students complete an act of kindness, they get to write it down on the slip of paper, fold it and put it into the jar. When the jar is full, you can either have a class party or do something more meaningful as a class. See step #4 for more details about a more meaningful activity.
#3. Be The Player
Engage in cooperative games to help children see the value in supporting each other.
For example, put children into groups of 6-10, grab a ball and have your students stand in a circle or square shape. Then throw the ball in the air above their group and their job is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible. Time each group but they aren’t meant to compete with each other. Their job is to learn how to work together to extend their time from one circuit to the next. All of the groups are playing at the same time so no one is sitting around and watching each other.
Cooperative games promote cooperation over competition, which makes students feel more relaxed so that they can enjoy the moment.
#4. Love Them All
Brainstorm a few charities that you love as class and vote on them. Choose one and run it by your administration to make sure it adheres to the values of your school.
Once you get approval, brainstorm ideas about how you plan to fundraise for your charity. As soon as you have some ideas, set dates to achieve them and email your students’ parents to let them know your plan.
Let’s recap really quickly. Today, we looked at the following:
- The relevance of teaching kindness to your students.
- Four simple and fun kindness activities for your students: deck the board, fill the jar, be the player, and love them all.
In the mean time, if planning so that you’re ahead is not your jam, then check out the following: FREE MASTERCLASS: Systematic Plan to Super Passionate.
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I’ll see you next Friday at 5:30pm PST.
Until I see you next time, remember to create, experience & teach from the heart.