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Acts of Kindness: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Shannon Orr
We tell children to be kind to one another, but what does that really mean? In this lesson, we will define kindness and learn some ways it can be taught in the classroom.

More Than Just Academics

As a teacher, it doesn't take long to realize that your job entails more than just preparing lessons and grading papers. In reality, teachers often spend more time with their students than the parents of the students. As a result, it is important to help children learn character traits like kindness that will help them become well-rounded adults.

kind

Being Kind

As a teacher, you should never assume students understand a concept just because they have previously heard of it. The same holds true to the idea of being kind. Kindness can be defined as saying or doing something positive for someone. The idea of kindness, however, depends on the perception of the individual. Since students come from different backgrounds and have various life experiences, what may seem kind to one student may take on a totally different meaning to another.

For example, some students may be taught to say hello to individuals when they enter a room. They may feel that doing so is being kind. However, students who come from a different background may have been raised to remain silent and avoid eye contact with individuals they do not know. Going against this behavior may be viewed as disrespectful and rude. As the teacher, it is important to discuss and address these situations so students can show kindness but also be respectful of others.

How to Teach Kindness

There are many ways to teach students about kindness. Two effective methods are role playing and allowing students to personalize Bingo cards to choose when and how to show kindness. Role playing can be effective with younger students, while the personalized Bingo cards will appeal to older students. Role playing is important because it allows students to think about different scenarios and determine what should and should not be done. Allowing students to choose when and how to show kindness gives students ownership of their behavior and makes them aware of how often they show kindness.

In order to teach kindness through role playing, teachers can divide students up into groups and give them different scenarios. The students would then discuss what they could do to be kind and also what they should not do in different situations. It is necessary for students to determine what they shouldn't do in order to prevent or at least limit the chance of hurting someone's feelings. Then students could act out the scenarios in front of the class so that others could see how they handled the situation.

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