What skills can/should be developed to show kindness?
Time: 10-20 minutes
Steps: Do this activity when you have a total of 10 consecutive minutes and 5 minutes the next class meeting.
Show students the following example, Free Hugs Project: 12-year-old students, in Portugal, giving free hugs in front of their school. Discuss how this activity helped people feel grateful for the generosity of a simple hug.
Teacher-Generated Lesson Idea: As students enter the classroom, hand them a blank sticky note/index card with the directions to write the first name of someone they are grateful for on the front of the note; then, ask them to flip the sticky note/index card over and briefly describe why they are thankful/grateful for that person. Once finished, ask students to place the sticky note/index card in a private place. Challenge the students to mindfully think about their gratitude for the person they wrote about at least three specific times in the upcoming 24 hours.
Student-generated Lesson Idea: Ask students: What is one undisruptive thing we can do that will help everyone who works in a particular space in the school (such as the office or cafeteria) feel noticed and appreciated by our class? Please share an idea with a partner.
Ask students to share ideas with the group and determine which idea works using typical classroom procedures.
Implement the teacher-generated lesson idea or the student-generated lesson idea.
When students return to the next class meeting, ask questions using the following prompts for the student-generated lesson: How did the activity help others feel noticed/cared for or appreciated? Does noticing others, and sharing our gratitude and care make us kinder? What other things we can do to show gratitude or appreciation in a simple way? For the teacher-generated lesson, ask: How did it make you feel to reflect about your gratitude for one person three times in a day? How can you express gratitude to this person in the future?
Share and discuss as time allows.