Cultivating a climate of kindness and caring in our classrooms is one of the most magical parts of teaching. I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to slip in a kindness lesson. Here’s a quick and easy Kindness Challenge that’s classroom, student, and pocketbook friendly.
**This idea is not new. However, I wanted to put my own spin on 100 Acts of Kindness that not only challenged our kiddos, but made it super simple for the teacher to implement.**
OPEN ENDED LESSON PLAN
As I sat down to create this freebie collection, I tried to think of all the ways teachers might use it. Personally, I am going to give my crew the month of February to complete 100 acts of kindness. With this said, I’m not going to lock you into my schedule here. Just because this time frame works for my plans, I get that it doesn’t work for everyone. It’s this line of thinking that inspired me to leave this challenge open-ended and generic. This allows you to slip it into your 100th Day Celebration, Valentine’s Day goodness, or just about whenever you feel like your class may need a kindness pick me up.
Sometimes kiddos get in a caring rut. Picking up trash on the playground and helping someone who drops crayons in class are both wonderful acts of caring. However, there are so many different ways to reach even more people with our kind acts. To help generate some ideas, I made a printable set of kindness cards. Each KINDNESS COUNTS card contains a different idea/task. You may choose to pick one or two cards for the class to focus on each day, or you may want to have each student select a card to focus on for a day/week. Again, this was left totally open-ended so you could mold it to fit your ultimate objective. Oh, and if you don’t like my ideas, I tossed in an editable set of cards as well. We’re all about being able to make things your own over here 🙂
It helps for kids to be able to “see” and track their progress when attempting a challenge. One way to accomplish this is to provide your students with individual tracking sheets. I added a simple template to this pack – kiddos graph their kind act progress throughout the challenge. This is optional, but it is a powerful visual for our youngsters.
Another kindness visual idea is to create a space that tracks whole class progress. This can be completed in oodles of different ways. You may want to design a bulletin board space. Lots of images come to mind — student photos and paper hearts with their acts of kindness written on them (think picture graph) or you can set it up as a large bar graph that tracks kindness progress by table group. Want to go easier? What about a wall of sticky notes filled with acts of kindness? I see a grand production happening at the end of every day where those who completed an act get to add a Post-It to the wall. Don’t want to dedicate a whole space to the project? You could mock up a kindness thermometer on butcher/chart paper to track group kindness efforts (see photo below). This can be hung on your classroom door or in a corner of your white board.
TUNE INTO KINDNESS
Music always helps students make connections. I am usually a standards-based and movement tune kind of a gal, but a sweet song about kindness can also go a long way. I just so happened to team up with Ron Brown’s Intelli-Tunes to bring you a FREE kindness tune. Yep. It’s included in my Kindness Challenge Pack. It’s super sweet and it seems so fitting for this challenge. Take a little listen down below.
GET THE PARENTS INVOLVED
I didn’t want the kind acts to be limited to campus. Therefore, I decided to craft a little home to school connection. A note will be sent home to parents explaining the challenge and inviting them to play along. I made up some easy Kindness Counts Certificates for the parents to complete and send in with their children as they witness caring acts happening on the home front. We can then celebrate/honor their thoughtfulness at home . . . in class!
Alright, so there you have it. A quick little post outlining my ideas on a classroom kindness challenge. If you are interested in any or all of these heartfelt components, check out my 100 Acts Of Kindness packet.