Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change. – Bob Kerrey
This week is Kindness Week. People worldwide are spreading kindness through random acts of kindness. Valentine’s Day is also this week. These events make it an ideal time to inspire our learners to show kindness, compassion, care, love, and gratitude. These skills are important for their development and necessary to be successful in life. I am sharing activities, resources, tips, web tools and mobile apps that will help your students spread kindness and care. These activities also ignite their creativity and integrate literacy skills.
We can teach our students how to show kindness in simple ways. Giving a smile or leaving a nice comment on a social media post are quick ways to make someone’s day. Here are more ideas on how to teach kindness:
- Make an advent calendar in which everyday you suggest a small way for your students to be kind. Here’s a post and template on how to make an advent calendar with Google Docs and ThingLink.
- Here’s an online Acts of Kindness advent calendar that emails you suggestions or take ideas from a previous version.
- Better yet, have your students create their own calendars in which they commit to showing kindness for a week. After they complete the act, they should write a short reflection and post a link to it on their Thinglink advent calendar.
- Here is a lesson plan I created to get your students to keep a Random Acts of Kindness journal that they later pass on to another student. They also give a presentation on the experience.
- Inspire them with this 6 minute 40 second presentation (Pecha Kucha) about Kindness. A business student shares how performing random acts of kindness transformed her life.
- You could get students to post videos, images, audio, or posts that exemplify kindness on a sticky wall like Padlet or LinoIt.
- Show them any of these videos of kids performing acts of kindness and have them brainstorm ways they can be kind to others. They can add these ideas to a class cognitive map with Popplet. Popplet also has a free IOS app.
- Have students create a school campaign to inspire others to spread kindness. They can create multimedia posters with Buncee, Smore, Biteslide, Glogster, or Blendspace.
- They can create a podcast about various acts of kindness. They can invite people around the school to share an anecdote then piece these clips together with an audio editor like Garage Band or Audacity. Find lesson templates and more information in this presentation about podcasting.
- Read to them a story about kindness and have them share when someone was kind to them or when they witnessed kind acts. They can share these stories on Voicethread or make digital stories with Storybird, Zooburst, Fotobabble, orLittle Bird Tales.
- If you teach older students, have them adopt a younger class. They can pair up with the younger kids and teach them something new, read them books, or play games with them.
Valentine’s Day Resources
Students can create meaningful Valentine’s Day greetings with free web tools and mobile apps. Check out my webinar recording filled with activities and resources or this guest post, 14+ Activities and Resources for Celebrating Valentine’s Day.
- Students can make their greetings extra special by designing them with origami! Discover how to make hearts, boxes, and more.
- Students can create coupons that help the recipient in some way, such as help a peer study for a test, make lunch for someone, or do a chore.
- Students can use mobile and web based apps such as Buncee, Fotobabble, or Animoto to send Valentine’s Day messages. These are free and have templates related to the holiday.
- Pic Collage (Android/IOS)– Kids can create photo collages of their best memories with a friend or relative. They have many frames and stickers to choose from that are related to Valentine’s Day.
- Yakit for Kids (IOS)- This app allows kids to upload or take a picture with their mobile device and animate it with stickers, googly eyes, and other fun props. They draw mouths on their images to narrate them. There are many props for Valentine’s Day. They will love creating these for their friends and family. You can have multiple slides.
- Chatterpix for Kids– (IOS)- Kids can upload, take a picture, or draw with their mobile device. They draw a mouth and add the voice to make the image speak. They can add text, stickers, filters, props, and frames. They only get one slide. Check out Rosco the Pug’s example here.
- Kid’s Fingerpainting Valentine’s Day App (IOS)– Kids can choose to color 15 pages or create their own Valentine painting. They can choose frames, up to 15 effects, and personalize their masterpieces with messages. Activity ideas– Use this app to send greetings to family members who love when kids draw and paint.
- Scrap Pad Valentine-s Day (IOS)- upload your photos to create a digital scrapbook with templates, background, stickers, and more. Activity ideas– students can create a memory book of adventures with friends, relatives, or a pet
- Valentine Videogram (IOS)- Choose from 3 fun characters and backgrounds and create an animated video message. Activity ideas– Students send a greeting to another classmate with a kind message about what they like about them (make sure all students receive a greeting) or simply send to relatives
- Cupid Booth Valentine-s Day (IOS)- upload your photos and decorate with speech bubbles, stickers, personalized messages, and more.
- RedStamp (IOS)- send free e-greeting cards with various free Valentine’s day templates and upload your photos.
- Holiday Cards by Sincerely (Android/IOS)- send free e-greeting cards with various free Valentine’s day templates and the ability to personalize
- Discover more free mobile apps in my post, 15+ Apps and Activities for Valentine’s Day.
- Valentine’s Day Sites and Activities by Cybraryman
- Best Sites to Learn About Valentine’s Day by Larry Ferlazzo
- Reasons for Buying Flowers– Great Lesson Plan by Jamie Keddie
- About Kindness and the Way it Comes Back to You! Great post & lesson video by Cecilia Lemos
- Kindness Lesson Plans by Film English
- Happy Birthday Surpr@ise by Vladimira; A new approach to teaching
- Tons of lessons and craft ideas for elementary to high school students from the Random Act of Kindness Organization
- Lesson Plan based on an Afrikan folktale
- 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge based on Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Free ebook of 75 Random Acts of Kindness
- Making a Difference Lesson Plans for kids
- Can Kindness be Taught? Great post by Edutopia
Inspire your students to perform at least 5 simple acts of kindness and reflect on the experience.
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