What complex kindness skills can be developed?
Time: 20-30 minutes
Steps: Do this activity when you know you have 10 consecutive minutes and then another 10-15 minutes during the next class meeting.
Share this quote from one participant: “Spread kindness through awareness.” And, watch the last part of the video beginning at 6:42 by high school students, from Mozambique, titled: The ABCs of Generosity.” Ask students, how is this dance of gratitude inspiring? How are these kids similar to us? How are they different? Does their school look similar to ours?
Teacher-Generated Lesson Idea: Have students create an appreciation card/letter for the people who work in a specific space or position in the school, such as the cafeteria. Collect the notes/letters and give them to the people from the class as a whole.
Student-Generated Lesson Idea: Ask students: What is one undisruptive thing we can do that will help everyone who works in a particular space or who has an unique role in the school feel noticed and appreciated by our class (such as the custodians or a clerk in the office)? 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.
During the next class meeting, ask students questions using the following prompts: How did the activity help others feel noticed/cared for, or appreciated? Does noticing others and sharing our gratitude and care for others in our school make our school feel more kind? Why or why not? What other things we can do to show kindness to people whose job is to help us succeed at school, in a simple way? Share and discuss as time allows.
After the cards/letters have been received, create a T chart to facilitate a discussion about how others may have felt. On one side list how others may have felt before the cards/letters were given and on the other side list how they feel now, after receiving the cards/letters. Discuss what is brainstormed. Ask students to write down a small thing they can individually do to recreate or continue to foster kindness by showing others gratitude, care, and noticing them in that part of the school, in the future. Discuss strategies for becoming more aware of the people around them.