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5 awesome activities for teaching kindness (Bonus: free lesson)

Corrinna PoleNovember 12, 2020

Two students looking at laptop together [Google Edu]

Kindness is powerful. It’s also contagious. According to science, kindness doubles when you share it. Studies have shown being kind boosts your serotonin, eases anxiety, and can lower blood pressure, which is really good for your heart. 

See how even a daily dose of a tiny bit of kindness can change so much. 

Double the kindness? That sounds pretty good right about now because this great big world could use a lot more of it!

Luckily, there are a lot of people trying to make the world a better place. Like our friends at UNESCO MGIEP, who are focused on using social emotional learning to help build peaceful and sustainable societies. Through their #KindnessMatters movement, they’ve recorded more than 8,300 acts of kindness from young people across the world.

So, kindness: Science supports it and the world needs it. And you’re likely already trying to encourage empathy, inclusion, and acceptance in your classroom. Ready for some extra ideas that might help? 

In celebration of World Kindness Day (Nov. 13), we’ve challenged our Classcraft team to share acts of kindness. Here are some of our team’s ideas — adapted to your classroom. 

5 activities for teaching kindness in class

kindness-rocks-positive-messages [third-serving-unsplash]-Blog-photo-750x517
Photo: Third serving on unsplash

1. Send kindness postcards  

All it takes to uplift someone is a few kind words. Invite your class to write short, encouraging messages to each other. Level this activity up by inviting them to write notes of appreciation to school staff that you could distribute during appreciation weeks.

2. Take gratitude brain breaks

Brain breaks are a super way to get your students refocused. Reset their stressed-out brains by engaging them to think about the things they are grateful for or, even better, the things their classmates do that they are grateful for.

If your class is using Kudos, you could take this time to present the Kudos Wall so your class can see and hear all the great things they are saying about each other. 

3. Make it rain kindness cards 

Encourage your students to anonymously write uplifting messages and inspirational quotes on sticky notes and leave “kindness cards” all around the classroom, school, or even their neighborhood.

4. Start your class with a Random Event

Random Events in Classcraft are known for being silly, fun, and meaningful. Since you can customize your own events, create one focused on kindness. To make it easier, copy-paste this effect: 

We all get 10 minutes to be kind to each other! Tell someone something you like about them, why you like to have them around you, or find another way to be kind to them! Be kind to as many people as you can before time is up! The more random acts of kindness we can do, the more XP we all get!

5. Play kindness bingo

Help your students see how small acts can have a big impact with a game of kindness bingo. Make sure all the squares have actions that seem small but have a big impact like making someone laugh, saying “thank you”, or smiling at someone. 

There are lots of free printable bingo cards out there. One of our favorites is this one from Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

Bonus: free kindness lesson

Need a short lesson to teach your tribe about kindness? Try the quest “Random Acts of Kindness!”

This lesson was created by teacher Julie Desmarais for her grade 6 English Language Arts class. You can easily update it to any grade or subject you’re teaching. Import this quest to easily incorporate kindness into your curriculum.

Social Emotional Learning