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Easy End of Year Activities to Empower Kindness and Respect!

Easy End Of Year Activities To Empower Kindness And Respect.

Need some end of year activities to teach kindness that won’t stretch you to the limit and keep your students engaged?

As the school year wraps up it’s the perfect time to celebrate their social and emotional growth. You've worked hard to teach them about kindness and respect, so use these last few weeks to reinforce these positive character traits. And teaching kindness is one of the best ways to combat anti-social and bullying behavior and reignite engagement.  

So, without further ado, here are some easy and memorable end of the year classroom activities with instructions on how to teach kindness in the classroom.

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End of Year Activities to Build Positive Character Traits

Use the end of year activities below as a guide for your lessons. Massage them and add your personality to differentiate them for various ages and abilities. 

1. Quilt of Memories

This is a beautiful activity to reflect on and appreciate the positive experiences and acts of kindness shared throughout the school year.

You Will Need

  • One paper square for each student
  • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • Glue sticks or tape
  • A large poster board or space on a classroom wall for display

Instructions

  1. 1
    Ask your students to share what they think a quilt is to ensure everyone understands what they’re making. Explain that the pieces contributed will build a beautiful and meaningful bulletin board. Their quilt represents special memories of happy or kind moments they experienced during the year.
  2. 2
    Hand out a square of construction paper to each of your students. Ask them to think of a favorite moment, like a day they enjoyed, an act of kindness they received, or a time when they felt proud or helped someone. Have students draw or write about this moment on their square.
  3. 3
    Allow students to share their quilt squares in small groups or pairs. They can discuss what they added and why it's a meaningful memory. This can trigger a lively discussion between those who’ve shared an experience. Students learn to listen to and appreciate positive experiences their classmates have had.
  4. 4
    Assemble your quilt by arranging the squares on a table or the floor. Let students help decide how to place their squares to create the most attractive design. When everyone’s happy with the layout they can tape or glue their squares onto poster board or a section of wall.
  5. 5
    Gather the students around the finished quilt. Let them look at the quilt and share how the whole artwork makes them feel. Pick out memories you know everyone shares and talk about what made it so special.
  6. 6
    Allow each student to stand beside the quilt for a photo to take home with them on the last day of school.

Extension Idea
Have students write a short story or paragraph about their memory. It can be shared with the class or compiled into a class book.

Easy Option

Make it easy with quilt square templates that students can print and write on or edit in Google Slides™. This kit also includes squares with positive quotes to make a kindness quilt. This is the perfect bulletin board to set expectations of positive behavior with your new class at the start of the year.

A Gorgeous Kindness Quilt Colored And Assembled By Primary And Elementary School Students.

Kindness quilt submitted by Karen Caswell, fourth grade teacher at Coomera Rivers State School

Digital And Printable Resources For A Kindness Quilt For Primary And Elementary School Students By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities.

2. Acts of Kindness Awards

Students make their own kindness awards to recognize and celebrate their classmates. Awards acknowledge acts of kindness within their classroom community.

You Will Need

  • A piece of card stock or heavy paper for each student
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons
  • Stickers, glitter, ribbons, and other decorative materials
  • Templates for awards (ribbons or trophies plus borders or pre-written phrases like "Award for Kindness")
  • List of all students in the grade to ensure everyone receives an award

Instructions

  1. 1
    Start with a discussion about kindness. Talk about what it means, share examples of kind acts, and why it is important in a community.
  2. 2
    Explain that students will create a kindness award for a classmate. Show a sample award or discuss ideas for what might be included (e.g., a kind act the person has done, a positive character trait).
  3. 3
    Ensure that every student receives an award by secretly assigning the recipients. This can be done by drawing names from a hat or randomly picking from the list.
  4. 4
    Students can draw and cut out a ribbon or trophy (provide a template for younger students) and add the name of the person they’re acknowledging. They can also include some text explaining what the award is for. The goal is to think about what they appreciate about their assigned classmate. Teachers and aides should circulate to help younger students. 
  5. 5
    Give students some time to think about what they will say when they present their award. Offer guidance on how to express their appreciation warmly and respectfully. Role play how to present the award, focusing on speaking clearly and making eye contact.
  6. 6
    Organize a small ceremony so students can present their kindness award to classmates. Encourage applause and support for presenters to boost their confidence and classroom excitement.
  7. 7
    After the ceremony, lead a reflection session. Ask students how it felt to give and receive recognition. Discuss the importance of noticing and appreciating the positive qualities in others.
  8. 8
    Display the awards on a "Wall of Kindness" in the classroom or in a common area of the school. Consider making this an annual event to continuously build and reinforce a positive community spirit.

Extension Ideas
Students can write about the experience and how it might influence their actions moving forward.

Extend the concept of kindness awards to include school staff or family members. This encourages students to recognize kindness in all areas of their lives.

3. Kindness Bookmarks

Bookmarks are fun because they're something kids can pop into their reader and look at each day. The positive affirmations or sayings are the perfect way to encourage kind behavior. Making kindness bookmarks can also lead to discussion about intentional kindness rather than random acts.

You Will Need

  • A strip of cardstock for each student (you'll get 3 bookmarks from a standard size sheet)
  • Crayons, markers, glitter pens, or colored pencils
  • Stickers (optional)
  • Laminating sheets or clear contact paper (optional, for durability)

Instructions

  1. 1
    Rule three evenly spaced lines on cardstock and cut with a craft knife or guillotine to make 3 bookmarks per page.
  2. 2
    Have a discussion about kindness and how quotes or affirmations can deliver powerful messages. Explain that students are going to use kindness quotes to make bookmarks they can share with friends or family. 
  3. 3
    Research famous kindness quotes together and write a list or allow students to make up their own kindness sayings. Examples are "Spread kindness like confetti!" or "Be the reason someone smiles today!"
  4. 4
    Students will write the quote on their strip of paper and decorate it with drawings, glitter pens, or stickers to make it unique. 
  5. 5
    If gifting to someone, ask kids to write a positive message on the back. 
  6. 6
    Optional - To make your bookmarks more durable, laminate them or cover them carefully with clear contact paper. Trim any excess material around the edges and round the corners. Leave a small margin to ensure the laminate seals well.
  7. 7
    Optional - Punch a hole at the top of the bookmark and thread a piece of ribbon through it. Knot the ribbon at the end. This adds a decorative touch and makes the bookmark easier to find in a book. 

Easy Option

If you want a done for you resource that kids can't get enough of, then these print and use kindness bookmarks are it! This resource is loved by students and teachers because it packs a real punch. 

This kindness bookmarks kit includes a kindness challenge that has kids squealing with excitement! Engagement is at an all-time high as they sneak off to the library on a covert mission to put smiles on the faces of their schoolmates.

4. Homeless Care Packages

Children are often sheltered from the harsh side of life but educating them about homelessness is an important lesson to help them feel grateful their own situation.

You Will Need

  • Small boxes or reusable bags
  • Non-perishable food items (granola bars, bottled water)
  • Personal products (shampoo, soap, body wipes, deodorant, toothbrushes, small soaps, sunscreen)
  • First aid supplies (bandages, antiseptic wipes) 
  • Accessories (e.g., socks, scarves, gloves, beanie, sun hats, rain poncho)
  • Other (ziplock bags, insect repellent)
  • Blank cards and decorative materials (stickers, markers, colored pencils)
  • List of items to include in each package

Instructions

  1. 1
    Begin with a discussion about homelessness. Explain what it means to live on the street or in a shelter and why people might experience it. Emphasize the importance of community help and support.
  2. 2
    Explain that as a group your grade can help by assembling care packages with essentials. Including a heartfelt message can help the homeless feel acknowledged and cared for.
  3. 3
    Discuss things that are useful for people experiencing homelessness. Use the examples included in the list of things you need above and explain why they're important.
  4. 4
    Talk about how kind words and positive messages can lift someone's spirits. These messages can provide hope to people who have so little.
  5. 5
    Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group specific items to gather. Some can manage food, others hygiene products, and another group can work on warm accessories. Older students can come up with a plan for gathering these items. They could write a note to distribute to other grades asking for items to be donated.
  6. 6
    When students have gathered the items, have them assemble the care packages. Ensure items are distributed evenly between the packs and they are packed neatly and thoughtfully.
  7. 7
    Ask students to make cheerful cards with uplifting messages to include in the care packs. Provide younger students with sentence starters or phrases they can use. Ask them to decorate their cards with stickers and uplifting colors.
  8. 8
    Discuss how and where the care packages will be distributed. Consider collaborating with a local homeless shelter or community center.
  9. 9
    Reflect on the activity by asking students to share how they felt about participating in the project. Ask what they learned about helping others.
  10. 10
    Consider partnering with a shelter to make this an ongoing project. You can even get your grade level or the whole school involved. Ask for a representative from the shelter or organization you work with to visit and speak with your grade.

Extension Idea
Incorporate this activity as a regular monthly or quarterly event with your class next year. It’s a great way to build an atmosphere of gratitude and recognition within the classroom.

5. Kindness Around the World Map

Students research and present acts of kindness from various cultures around the world. A great activity for older students to foster an understanding of global customs and cultural appreciation.

You Will Need

  • World map (large enough for bulletin board display)
  • Markers or colored pencils
  • Printed flags or markers for each country
  • Access to research materials (books, Internet access for supervised research)
  • Presentation tools (poster board, construction paper, markers)
  • Push pins or tape for attaching items to the bulletin board

Instructions

  1. 1
    Begin by discussing the concept of kindness as a global value that's appreciated by everyone.
  2. 2
    Explain that students (or groups of students) will research an act of kindness from another country to present to the class.
  3. 3
    Assign or let students choose a country or culture and explain what their research should include. Here are some examples:
    Australia and Morocco: Travelers told stories about how kind people were when they visited these countries. People helped them out and shared what they had. This highlights how being welcoming and generous is important to them.  
    Persian Culture: The Persian culture has what they call "walls of kindness." These are special places where people leave clothes and other things for those who need them. It shows that helping each other is a big part of their way of life.
    Global Spiritual Communities: Lots of different religions and spiritual groups around the world tell people to be kind and share with others. They believe it's important to understand and care about each other's feelings.
  4. 4
    Students can create a poster or a digital presentation to showcase their findings. Each visual must feature the name of the country, a description of the act of kindness, and any pertinent cultural background. They may also add printed pictures, drawings, or cultural artifacts that symbolize their selected country.
  5. 5
    Allocate time for each student or group to present their research to the class. As each group presents, allow them to place a flag or marker on the country they researched. They can also adhere their work around the map to create a comprehensive display.
  6. 6
    After the presentations, ask students to share what they learned. Reflect on how understanding kindness in other cultures can affect their view of the world and their behavior towards others. Talk about how being kind is a value everyone appreciates no matter where they're from. Encourage them to think about how they can incorporate acts of kindness into their own lives.

Extension Idea
Students can interview a family member who was born in a different country. They can ask about the kindness they witnessed or received there. If students do not know someone born elsewhere, they can ask a parent to share.

FREE Kindness Coloring Pages!

Free Kindness Coloring Pages For Kids To Color. Download Them For Random Acts Of Kindness Day. By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities.

6. Personalised Thank You Notes

If you're struggling with what to do on the very last day of school, a good old-fashioned thank-you note is just the ticket to teach gratitude. It's simple but a lovely way to help students learn to express appreciation for their peers and school staff. Sharing feelings enhances communication skills and encourages them to think more deeply about the people around them. 

You Will Need

  • A piece of colorful paper or cardstock for each student
  • Markers, colored pencils, crayons
  • Stickers, glitter, ribbons, and other decorative materials
  • Envelopes
  • List of all students and staff members (to ensure everyone receives at least one note)

Instructions

  1. 1
    Have a class discussion about gratitude. Explain what it means, why it's important, and how it feels to receive appreciation.
  2. 2
    Explain that the purpose of the activity is to let people know that they are seen and valued. This is done by sharing kind thoughts through personalized thank-you notes.
  3. 3
    Have students brainstorm people they want to thank within the school. This could include peers, teachers, administrators, cafeteria staff, or custodians. Guide them to think about specific reasons for their gratitude. What particular actions or qualities do they appreciate about these people?
  4. 4
    Explain that students will begin their notes with a nice greeting, express their gratitude, and finish with a friendly closing. Consider providing sentence starters or a fill-in-the-blank template to help younger students structure their notes.
  5. 5
    Decorate cards or notes with markers, stickers, and other craft supplies to personalize them. Encourage them to make them colorful and include pictures that may be meaningful.
  6. 6
    Discuss how the notes will be distributed. You could hand them out at the end of the day, place them in mailboxes if your school has them, or create a special delivery system.
  7. 7
    Finish by having a few volunteers share their experience. What did they enjoy about writing the thank you notes? How did it feel to think about the good things others have done? Emphasize the importance of continuing to acknowledge and appreciate others beyond the activity.

Extension Idea
Incorporate this activity as a regular monthly or quarterly event with your class next year. It’s a great way to build an atmosphere of gratitude and recognition within the classroom.

A Whole Year of Engaging Kindness Activities

A Big Bundle Of Kindness Activities To Last The Whole Year. Includes Puzzles, Games, Bingo, Paper Fortune Teller, Kindness Coloring Pages, Posters, Kindness Quilt, Bulletin Boards, Kindness Craft, Kindness Cash For Classroom Management, Kindness Bookmarks And So Much More!

I hope you use some of these fun end of the year activities for elementary students so the hard work you put in to teach kindness and other positive character traits doesn't go to waste. You can finish the year with your class knowing that you've done everything you could to teach students how to show kindness at school and at home. 

If you have favorite end of year activities that reinforce positive character traits, please email me so I can add them here!

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