“Kindness is free. Sprinkle that stuff everywhere.”
Intentionally Teaching Kindness in the Classroom
February is kindness and caring month. It’s a great time to intentionally teach acts of kindness, celebrate friendships, and learn about showing caring towards others. We at Team Education to the Core have come up with a few ideas to showcase KINDNESS in your classrooms this month.
Create a Classroom Kindness Bulletin Board
As a class, create a bulletin board all about KINDNESS. Every school day, you add another “act of kindness” and watch as your board grows. Here are some ideas you could use for the board…
Growing Kindness/Watching Kindness Blossom – using flower cut-outs, create a garden; add an “act of kindness” flower to it each school day
19 Gifts of Kindness – have your students create 19 presents; add an act of kindness to one each day
Spreading/Sharing Kindness – students create models of themselves and share hearts with acts of kindness written on them; add a heart each day
Here is a list of school-based acts of kindness you could use for your bulletin board:
- Say something nice to a schoolmate.
- Help someone who is hurt or sad.
- Sit with someone new at lunch.
- Write a kind note to someone.
- Sharpen pencils for a teacher.
- Pick up trash on the playground.
- Clean up your lunch table.
- Help a classmate clean their desk.
- Share a school supply with a classmate.
- Play with someone new at recess.
- Compliment a staff member.
- Hold the door for someone.
- Listen when others are talking.
- Say hello to everyone you see.
- Read a book with someone.
- Clean your space before leaving the class.
- Give someone a high five.
- Smile at everyone you see.
- Use “please” and “thank you”.
- Tell your friends why they are special.
“Kindness is a silent smile, a friendly word, a nod of encouragement.
Kindness is the single most powerful thing we can teach children.” ~ RAKtivist
Read Alouds that Model/Teach Kindness
There are so many great books out there that intentionally have kindness and caring at the center of the central message. I use them as a discussion platform for what kindness looks and sounds like. Here are just a few of my favorites…
- The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
- A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
- Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller
- The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
- The Good Egg by Jory John
- Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
- Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
Class Activities and Crafts
- Bucket Fillers – This activity is paired with Have You Filled a Bucket Today?. After reading the story, hand each of your students a post-it note and have them write down one kind act they can do to help “fill someone’s bucket”. Once they’ve written their bucket filler, they place it on the large bucket poster. Each morning I read someone’s suggestion, reinforcing all the ways we can show kindness. Allow your students to add to the bucket if they have other kind act ideas.
- Skittles Game – Hand each of your students a small bag of Skittles. They are to open and sort them by color. (As a math activity, they can graph the results and identify the group with the most and the least.) After being sorted, each child will get into a small group and answer a question based on the color they have that contains the most skittles. Create a poster like the one shown to guide their discussions.
- Kindness Rainbows – After reading the book Be Kind, have your students create rainbows. On raindrops, they are to write synonyms for the word “kind”. Once written, they attach the raindrops to the rainbow with string and tape.
- Compliment Circle – Using a compliment circle is a great way to build classroom community as well as oral language development. Students sit in a circle and are given the opportunity to compliment each other. Pass an object around (I prefer a stuffed animal.), and when a student has the object, they can either compliment another student, or choose to pass. Here are some sentence starters your students could use when complimenting… “I like how you…” “Thank you for…” “It was nice of you to…” “You were a good friend when…” “You worked really hard at…
“If we all do one random act of kindness daily,
we just might set the world in the right direction.” ~ Martin Kornfeld
Encourage your students to intentionally be kind this month. As the quote above state, one random act of kindness each day can make a huge difference. Click here for our FREE Random Acts of Kindness Calendar you can send home with your students to set them off on the right path.
-Written by Janessa Fletcher and Jenn Sego
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