Lesson plan

Kindness Goes a Long Way

Performing acts of kindness and love can bring classrooms together! In this lesson, students will hear true stories of random acts of kindness and will perform kind deeds of their own in groups.
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Students will be able to discuss what it means to be kind and will perform random acts of kindness in groups.

(10 minutes)
  • Share a story of a kind deed someone once did for you and how that made you feel. Then share a story of a kind deed you did for someone else and how that made you feel.
  • Ask students to share in pairs when they experienced both the giving and receiving of a kind deed.
  • Have a few students share out with the whole class.
  • Build on student answers and make connections with their comments.
  • Now ask students to reflect on why it is important to engage in kind acts. Take a few comments from the class and share that today the class will be focused on acts of kindness.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that the class will now participate in a fishbowl discussion, where four to five students will be in the center of the circle at a time and will answer one to two questions while the rest of the class observes their conversation.
  • Explain that you would like everyone to participate in the center of the circle and that you would like everyone to share and talk during the discussion (even if it is one time).
  • Ask four to five student volunteers to come into the circle for the fishbowl discussion.
  • Explain that you will show a video and then the class will discuss, using this protocol.
  • Show the video "High School Runner Carries Injured Competitor."
  • Ask the volunteers in the center of the circle to answer the following questions:
    • Why do you think this girl stopped to help her opponent? (If need be, explain what the word "opponent" means.)
    • What does it mean when she says that she has a medal for her heart?
    • What is the difference between winning a medal to win a race and winning a medal that saved and helped someone else?
  • Rotate the volunteers out of the circle and ask for new volunteers.
  • Continue to rotate through the class until all students have been in the middle and have answered questions. Additional questions might include:
    • How does a kind deed like this ripple out to others?
    • How do kind deeds affect communities?
    • How can one kind deed affect the world?
    • How can competition and "being first" or "best" affect communities?
    • How does it feel to be "number one" and "better than others"?
    • How does it feel to work as a team and support others, even if they are not on your own team?
    • How do you think the injured girl felt when she was carried by her opponent?
    • What have you learned from this video?
    • How can we spread kindness in our classroom?
    • How can we spread kindness throughout our school?
(5 minutes)
  • Break the class into groups of 3–4 students.
  • Pass out the Acts of Kindness Challenge worksheet.
  • Explain that each group has a challenge that they are asked to complete by the end of class.
  • Review the worksheet with the class.
  • Generate ideas for kind deeds (and write them on the board) to be performed by the end of class.
(15 minutes)
  • Circle around the room and check in with as many groups as possible to answer any questions and provide support when needed.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to interview three friends or caring adults about times they have performed a kind deed or when they have received kind deeds for others.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students during group work time and provide support when needed.

(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room and check student comprehension of the assignment.
  • Observe and listen to students during the fishbowl discussion to check for understanding.
  • Collect the worksheets and review reflections.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring students back together in a circle.
  • Ask groups to bring their worksheets and reflections.
  • Ask each group to share the kind deeds they performed and how it felt to perform these random acts of kindness.
  • Collect reflections from students.

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