Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change. – Bob Kerrey
Teaching citizenship isn’t an additional part of the curriculum. A good lesson plan or project will get students to learn how to be kind, generous, problem-solving, caring, compassionate, imaginative, creative, emphatic, and/or helpful while also getting them to learn. The goal is to get students to take what they are learning and use the knowledge and skills to somehow improve their current lives or improve the lives of others. These skills are important for their development and necessary to be successful in life. I am sharing activities, resources, tips, web tools and mobile apps that help students learn to be good people and also get them reading, writing, and more.
Ideas and Activities
- The slideshow below provides students ideas on how to be kind in small quick ways. Get them to brainstorm the digital equivalent of each act like maybe smiling at someone by adding an emoji or sticker.
- Make an advent calendar in which everyday you suggest a small way for your students to be kind. Here’s a post and template on how to make an advent calendar with Google Docs and ThingLink.
- Here’s an online Acts of Kindness advent calendar that emails you suggestions or take ideas from a previous version.
- Better yet, have your students create their own calendars in which they commit to showing kindness for a week. After they complete the act, they should write a short reflection and post a link to it on their Thinglink advent calendar.
- Here is a lesson plan I created to get your students to keep a Random Acts of Kindness journal that they later pass on to another student. They also give a presentation on the experience.
- Inspire them with this 6 minute 40 second presentation (Pecha Kucha) about Kindness. A business student shares how performing random acts of kindness transformed her life.
- You could get students to post videos, images, audio, or posts that exemplify kindness on a sticky wall like Padlet or LinoIt.
- Show them any of these videos of kids performing acts of kindness and have them brainstorm ways they can be kind to others. They can add these ideas to a class cognitive map with Popplet. Popplet also has a free IOS app.
- Have students create a school campaign to inspire others to spread kindness. They can create multimedia posters with Buncee, Tackk, Smore, Thinglink, Pic-Collage, Canva, and Biteslide.
- They can create a podcast about various acts of kindness. They can invite people around the school to share an anecdote then piece these clips together with an audio editor like Garage Band or Audacity. Find lesson templates and more information in this presentation about podcasting.
- Read to them a story about kindness and have them share when someone was kind to them or when they witnessed kind acts. They can share these stories on Voicethread.
- If you teach older students, have them adopt a younger class. They can pair up with the younger kids and teach them something new, read them books, or play games with them.
- Students can create coupons that help the recipient in some way, such as help a peer study for a test, make lunch for someone, or do a chore.
- About Kindness and the Way it Comes Back to You! Great post & lesson video by Cecilia Lemos
- Kindness Lesson Plans by Film English
- Happy Birthday Surpr@ise: A new approach to teaching
- Tons of lessons and craft ideas for elementary to high school students from the Random Act of Kindness Organization
- Lesson Plan based on an Afrikan folktale
- 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge based on Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Free ebook of 75 Random Acts of Kindness
- Making a Difference Lesson Plans for kids
- Can Kindness be Taught? Great post by Edutopia
Inspire your students to perform at least 5 simple acts of kindness and reflect on the experience.
cross posted at teacherrebootcamp.com
Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com.