What better way to foster kindness, build character and encourage positive school communities than awesome visuals that students see each and every day. Like anything else we want our kids to learn, positive values need to be constantly reinforced and lived every single day.
If you enjoy the feel-good emotions produced by doing good then perhaps you're the kind of person who looks forward to the official days that celebrate kindness. Did you know there are 3 of them?
Many teachers like their students to participate in kindness activities at school to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day in February and World Kindness Day in November. They understand the importance of these days as opportunities to build character and instill good values that become the foundation of an emotional skill set that's essential for their future success. Beyond feel-good emotions or reducing bullying, kindness is a highly valued character trait.
Bullying is often a hot topic among parents and teachers. It has been for as long as I can remember and sadly, not a lot has changed. But, I feel we are starting to make some headway with educators now using social and emotional learning programs in their classrooms to build emotional intelligence.
I've been advocating for kindness to be taught in schools for around a decade now. For me, it has always made sense because kindness is the antithesis of bullying. It stands to reason that infecting a school with the kindness bug is going to have a positive effect on children who struggle with antisocial behaviour. A kind majority will eventually have an impact on an unfriendly minority.
Whether you're looking to build character at home or in the classroom, recognised kindness days are a great time to start a kindness campaign.
Kindness is a good old-fashioned value that does a lot more than just build character. Did you know that it can also:
Book Title: Ella & Mrs Gooseberry – Discovering what love looks like
Author: Vikki Conley
Illustrator: Penelope Pratley
For Ages: 4-8
Themes: love, empathy, compassion, kindness, understanding, giving, character, community
Related learning areas: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), feelings awareness, character education
The crumpled paper lesson is a very powerful bullying activity which we believe was originally used by a teacher in New York to show her students the lasting impact that anti-social and cruel behaviour can have.
We love this bullying lesson but adapted it to use in conjunction with our primary and elementary school curriculum during assemblies and in the classroom. We substituted a plain piece of paper for a red heart or cutout of a person (an activity in the curriculum for older students) to make it more relatable for kids.
4 - 10 years
Friendship, Problem-Solving, Bullying, Judgement, Respect
The story is narrated by a young boy. He was looking forward to a really great summer. That was until Jeremy Ross moved into the neighborhood!!
After laughing at him when he struck him out at baseball and not inviting him to his trampoline party, Jeremy Ross became the first person on the boy's enemy list.
He talked to his dad about his problem. His dad said he has a sure fire but secret way of getting rid of enemies. Enemy Pie!!
It can sometimes be difficult to get students, especially those in higher grades, to open up but this is a fun way of encouraging students to let their guard down a little.
If you are looking for classroom incentives for positive behavior and effort I highly encourage you to create a Punch It! Board. It’s super easy to make and something the students in my class never tire of!
This is an incentive system that can be adapted to any classroom and great for use at home use as well.
It’s a given that most parents want their children to grow up with good values and character traits. Kindness, compassion, perseverance and honesty are just some of the traits we want to instill in our kids. But how are character traits developed?
Charles Starkey, Associate Professor of Philosophy studies emotion theory and moral psychology. He says that character traits are determined by our values but that emotions also play a huge role. In short, kids need emotional intelligence and to see positive character traits in others to adopt them.
Stories of Kindness
- 27 Feb 2020I’d rather be swindled by someone that doesn’t need it than to pass by someone that does.
- 19 Feb 2020Food stamps over junk food
- 12 Feb 2020Our plans of helping a family went to hell
- 06 Feb 202030 Easy Acts of Kindness for Teaching Your Kids to Make the World Better
- 05 Feb 2020This teacher saves kids who are struggling to connect