While it is never a bad time to be kind to others, the holiday season is when you see it more often than other times of the year. And that translates to your students as well.
How about a quick printable to help them to see how easy it is to be kind?
Ways to Teach Kindness with Buy-In
Some students will simply write off the slogan “Be Kind” just because it’s not novel or “cool” in their eyes.
What if you took that same message and inserted in a game format?
Suddenly it’s more interesting to students who might be reluctant otherwise.
A simply bingo board with 9 ideas gives students specific things to do so they aren’t guessing at what it means to be kind.
Teaching About Kindness
While you could certainly print off the handout below and be done with it, I highly suggest having a class meeting to discuss a little more.
After assembling the students, talk about each item in the box and what would kindness exactly look like – and what it wouldn’t.
For example: Let someone go ahead of you in line
Kindness: Having someone who is not in your close friend group go ahead just to be nice
Not as kind: Switching places with your bestie just to mark off the square
While the second is technically doing the task, the joy of completing an action just for the sake of going out of your way for someone else with no expectation of something in return has been lost.
Discussing each task – and even role playing – will assist children to really understand the meaning of kindness.
Normally I a fan of rewarding positive behavior with tangible things (I am most motivated by those things), but in this case – public praise and discussing how the even made them feel will be far more powerful than a sticker or a pencil would ever be.
Once students feel proud that they went out of their way to be nice to someone else without cause, suddenly it makes more sense. And the dopamine hit will encourage repeated actions as such.
Social emotional learning isn’t in the standards, but all teachers know these are some of the more important skills for students to learn. Making into a game makes it even more fun.
Have fun seeing your students’ wide smiles when they tell you all about their good deeds!