My husband got up one gloomy morning and went to the gas station to fill his car, when he went to pay, the gas pump said, “prepaid.” A kind person, from the goodness of his/her heart, paid for his gas. Needless to say, it brought a big smile to his face.
Did you know there’s a Random Acts of Kindness Week? It runs from February 16 through the 23rd. Actually, this is the first I’ve heard of it, but what a groovy way for us to unite by showing kindness. It begins with one simple act – one hello to a stranger, a mere smile, a pat on the back, a cup of coffee for someone you don’t know, or as my husband experienced, pay it forward. This is a chance for participating individuals to make our world a better one and inspire others to follow suit.
Random Acts of Kindness (RAC) is an international non profit foundation that believes a little kindness is the key to helping people make the world a better place. Their goal is to remind everyone that good will is a choice. They’ve designed free tools to help make kindness a part of our everyday lives. https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/
Graciousness in the classroom is one of the most essential things for children to comprehend. Scientific studies have shown that it improves our self-worth and helps us feel that we belong to a group. It improves our health by lowering blood pressure, while decreasing depression and anxiety. This not only helps the receiver, but it REALLY helps the giver. It’s such a wonderful feeling when you know you’ve done something to make another person feel happier.
When a child is happier and more content, grades will improve, attention span will increase, students will be better able to remain calm during stressful situations, there will be less bullying, drug use, violence and school drop outs. These are links for free lesson plans. I know you’ll want to use them right away. Random Acts of Kindness for Grades K-5, Random Acts of Kindness Grades 6-8.
Here’s a few more ideas that you can use to get your kiddos thinking about kindness.
1. Introduce the concept that kindness begins with ONE person. If every ONE person does ONE kind thing for someone else, it would make our lives so much happier.
2. Set up a kindness bulletin board and whenever a child does something kind for someone, add their name and what they did.
3. Have students participate in a game where they say kind things to each other. You can then discuss how they felt about receiving a compliment, and how it felt to give one. Later they can write a paper about this.
4. Write this phrase on the board…”Walk a mile in my shoes.” Ask what it means and discuss it. Introduce the subject of bullying and pose this question…Have you ever been bullied, or do you know anyone who was bullied. When someone answers, have a different child view the situation and share what they might have done to defend the person being bullied. Also ask how the bully may have felt. Skits would also work well. They can then write about this experience.
5. Role play different situations that show random acts of kindness. The children can work in groups to write short skits about this.
You may be interested in this resource entitled Caught in the Act of Being Kind.
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