Teaching Kindness in the Classroom
Teaching kindness in the classroom is more important than ever! If you been looking for ways to incorporate character education in your classroom, read through this entire post. It’s filled with lessons, activities, and ideas to help you build a positive culture in your classroom, empower students to be their best selves, and make this school year different!
My kindness resource shown below has a wide variety of tools for teaching kindness in the classroom. Check out all the ways you can start promoting kindness in the classroom.
Kindness Pacing Guide
This pacing guide organizes your entire month of kindness. It will help you plan and set aside enough time to complete the curriculum with your students.
Kindness Bulletin Board
Whenever I start a new Character Education trait, I like to create a bulletin board. It’s a great way to introduce and define the concept and start class discussions. In my kindness resource, I include everything you’ll need to introduce kindness to your students with a beautiful bulletin display. Keep this display in your classroom for the entire month that you are teaching kindness.
You can add a quote of the week, kindness scenarios to discuss as a class, writing prompts for the day or week, and kindness posters.
Kindness Read Alouds
Read-alouds are a great way to give students a shared context for discussion. I put together a list of my favorite read alouds that teach different aspects of kindness. There’s so many ways to show kindness and these books are a great way to explore that get some great conversations started with students.
In my Character Education: Kindness resource, I include links to each book for you to check out for your classroom.
Use this calendar to challenge your students to perform random act of kindness each day. It is editable so you can change the month, customize the acts of kindness to fit your students, and make different version of the calendar that so students are doing different acts of kindness than their classmates each day.
Each day, I like to take a few minutes to talk about the day’s act of kindness with your students. Give students examples of ways to complete the act of kindness or have students give examples. When students have completed an act of kindness, have them color in a square.
Note: I’ve found this calendar to create some of the most meaningful changes in my students. Learning about kindness and its importance is a great first step. Taking action is the next step. Actions help your students internalize kindness and build the habit of being kind. Building the habit of kindness is the goal of this resource. When kindness is a habit, your students won’t need to think about ways to be kind; it just becomes their default way of approaching any situation. Kindness is no longer something they have to think about, it’s part of who they are!
Doodle Reflection Page
This doodle reflection page is a creative way to get students to think about what kindness is and ways they can show it. It includes reflection questions, examples of kindness, fun kindness quotes, and doodles for students to color.
Kindness in the News Activity
This activity will help bring kindness close to home. For this activity, students will use a news article to help learn about the impact of kindness in their own community. Depending on the grade you teach, students can find their own article or you can provide some articles for them.
Specific directions, research tips, planning pages, and multiple templates are included. I also provide materials to help
Capturing Kindness Activity
Students will create a social media feed with acts of kindness they have seen, experienced, or done for others. This is a fun activity that allows your students to get creative and it relates to things they love using everyday.
I’ve included options for drawing pictures, writing about it, or both drawing and writing.
3D Kindness Craft
3-D kindness crafts are a great way to help students reflect on kindness. This is great for all students, but especially those who struggle to get started a persevere to the end of an assignment. Getting to the crating stage and seeing an interesting finished product always keeps motivation high.
In this project, student will respond to prompts and use their completed responses to build a 3D heart or 3D hot air balloon. These activities can be completed at any time during a lesson on kindness. They can be made with three to seven prompts. You can pick and print the pages that you would like your students to complete. Best of all, I include simple instruction making them easy to assemble and so much fun!
Kindness Quote of the Week
For each week you spend on kindness, you can share a new quote with students. This activity includes five different kindness quotes with three short-answer questions to help students reflect on the quote’s meaning. I selected quotes that have a unique perspectives on kindness and will help you have great discussions with students in your class!
Each quote is available in a speech bubble that you can print for use on a bulletin board or for hanging around your classroom. The discussion questions are on a separate page. There is also an option to print the quote and discussion question on a single page.
Kindness scenarios or social stories allow your students to place themselves in new situations and think about ways to be kind. These scenarios are a great way to inspire meaningful conversations in your classroom.
You can display the scenarios on your bulletin board for a class discussion or print the scenarios and allow students to work in groups or independently.
Kindness Parent Letter
Parent letters are very effective for teaching kindness in the classroom. They get parents involved so they can reinforce the character education lessons at home.
The letter included in my kindness resource provides parents and families with tools to help them explain, model, and praise kindness in the home. Additionally, it includes a list of books and movies that families can enjoy together.
Additionally, I also include ideas for books to read and movies to watch that promote kindness, which is always a hit with families.
Kindness Anchor Chart
It’s not secret that I love anchor charts. They are a great reference for students as they respond to questions, work independently, and contribute to discussions during your Character Education lessons throughout the month.
This anchor chart is a great activity to do with your students after introducing your bulletin board on kindness. It’s also a great activity to accompany a mentor text or read-aloud. Because this anchor chart has a discussion question, I believe students will get the most benefit from doing it together as a class. Ask students: How do you show kindness? Then call on volunteers to share and discuss their answers. A printable anchor chart is also included.
Posters are a great way to remind students to be kind.
Six different posters that define kindness. Each poster has the same message with different clip art that shows an example of kindness. The clip art includes multicultural children to reflect the diverse learners in our classrooms.
You can hang the posters on a bulletin board to create a display, display the posters around the classroom or in your hallways, pass the posters out to students to keep at their desks, or use the posters as a cover page in a folder.
Kindness Reader’s Theater
These reader’s theater scripts are such a great tool for promoting kindness in the classroom. They allow your students to get creative and create a memorable experience based on kindness. Additionally, they will help with fluency, comprehension, and speaking and while doing Character Education.
In my kindness resource, there are three scripts for students to read and perform:
Chain of Kindness: In this story, each character that receives an act of kindness turns and performs an act of kindness for another person. It teaches about the idea of “paying it forward” and how kindness is contagious.
Kindness: Take One!: In this story, the characters are actors on a film set working for a picky director. To appease the director, the actors keep filming several takes as they try different ways to help a friend whose birthday was canceled. By the end of this play, students will see the many different ways they can be kind and help lift up a friend.
Kindness Game Show: In this story, your students will be playing the host and contestants in a game show. The contestants in this game show earn money for their favorite charity by answering questions about how to be kind to different groups of people.
Kindness Writing Prompts + Publishing Pages
Writing prompts encourage them to write about kindness in a thoughtful and creative way. They are also a great tool to help students reflect on ways to be kind.
In my resource, there are five writing prompts that encourage students to reflect and write about kindness. They include writing about time they were kind, a time someone was kind to them, different ways to show kindness, a short story about kindness, and responding to a situation with kindness. I’ve also included writing paper and clip art to turn this into a published piece of writing to display in your classroom or hallway.
Last, I include a printable bulletin board heading if you choose to display the writing pages in your own classroom.
The kindness resource shown above is small part of my Character Education or Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum that you can use for the entire year.
The individual pillars (kindness, respect, responsibility, courage, cooperation, empathy, generosity, perseverance, friendship, an integrity) each cover an entire month. Each pillar of my Character Education or SEL Curriculum is filled with meaningful lessons, materials, hands-on activities, anchor charts, bulletin board materials, parent letters, and more that will set you up for entire year.