Description: When you feel like saying mean things, try being kind instead. List ten ways to be kind to others and draw pictures that remind you of the ways. Try one of your ideas and later tell the class how it worked. Write ministories about saying or doing mean things versus showing kindness.
Teaches: Character education (consideration and kindness to others); putting ideas about showing kindness to others into practice; using adjectives to describe feelings; and considering the effects of one’s actions on others.
Helpful Hints: Discuss why showing kindness to people may make them feel better than if you said unkind or hurtful things.
Talk about how being unkind may hurt the person acting that way as well as the person being treated unkindly. Ask students to name ways that others have shown kindness to them and to use adjectives to describe how these words and actions made them feel.
1. Ask the class to think of situations in which they felt like responding in a negative way to another child. Then ask them to think of responding to that same child in a kind, positive way.
Negative Response Positive Response
“You can’t sit with us.” “Sure, you can sit here. There’s room for everybody.”
“Where did you get those shoes? “Your shoes are different.
Nobody wears those anymore. Where did you get them?”
“You must be dumb if you “That problem is a little
don’t understand that math problem.” tricky. Can I help you with it?”
1. Discuss: Suppose you see someone new at school sitting alone in the lunchroom. How could you make that person feel welcome?
Ask the person to sit with you and your friends.
Offer the new student help in getting to classes and showing him or her around the school.
Ask the student to tell you about his or her previous neighborhood and school.
2. Ask the class to consider the feelings they would experience if they treated others kindly versus the feelings they would have if they treated someone unkindly.
Positive feelings happy, proud, and friendly
Negative feelings sad, ashamed, and unfriendly
1. Ask groups to brainstorm at least ten ways to show kindness to others instead of ignoring or saying unkind words.
Ask someone you’ve ignored to be on your team.
Compliment another student for a good speech or test grade.
Ask a new student to sit at your lunch table.
Offer to help a student from another country learn your language.
2. Have the groups write their ideas and draw pictures to remind them of the different ways to show kindness.
3. Ask students in each group to put into action at least one of the ways they listed to show kindness to others. Have the groups report back to the entire class in two to four weeks about how they and the person shown kindness felt.
1. Write a mini-story (a one page story) in the first person showing a person who feels like treating another child unkindly by ignoring, ridiculing, saying mean words, or hitting. Describe how the person might feel when he or she thinks about treating another person unkindly.
2. Then switch gears and write another mini-story to depict the person showing an act of kindness instead. Tell how that makes the person feel. How will the person receiving the kindness feel? Ask volunteers to discuss contrasting stories with the class.