Teaching kindness isn’t something that you can quick touch on and think that your students will master. It takes daily modeling, reviewing and practice. A couple of years ago, my kids were really struggling with showing kindness to each other. I tried a few different things that I had read in blog posts and on Pinterest. I finally decided that if I wanted my students to be kind, we needed to spend time during our day specifically learning about kindness and all the different aspects of being kind. That was when I developed my Kindness Unit.
I started by thinking about all of the portions of life that can foster and promote kindness. Friendship, communication, teamwork, managing conflict, and celebrating differences were a few that came to mind. I didn't want to rush through each topic though so I decided that spending two days on each one would be best. After I had my unit outline, I went on the hunt for mentor texts. This would ensure that I could model the desired skill, we could practice it together and the students would have time to practice it for themselves.
After I had my unit outline, I went on the hunt for mentor texts. There are so many great ones but I finally settled on the ones I felt fit best. Within the unit I provide a book list and a list with links where others are reading them on youtube.com. As a teacher who has purchased units on TpT myself, I know that you can't always afford to buy all of the books yourself and I didn't want that to be a deterrent for other teachers to not use it.
Each of the 12 lessons is fully written out for you. It includes an I Can statement, essential question, anticipatory set, direct instruction, guided practice, independent practice and a closure. The students also have a student workbook that helps keep everything organized and all of their independent practice is located in it. My students always loved having their own workbooks. You can view some of the pages below. The lessons also allow for your students to grow as partners and teams. The lessons also include games, writing activities and even cooking! (Don't worry, it's a fairly easy recipe and tons of fun!)
Honestly, my 2 main goals when developing this Kindness Unit was to focus on fostering kindness and making it as user friendly for other teachers as possible. Any anchor chart you need to create has a sample picture included. I also included any clipart you may need to cut out and glue to your charts. I always feel like this makes it the easiest on you guys. Another issue I have had in the past with units is that I have a hard time getting all of the activities and pieces printed and prepped for the correct days. I have included a preparation list just for this very reason. It's laid out by each lesson. It shows exactly what you need prepped for each day. If you're looking for an easy to prep unit to help your students develop kindness, this is definitely what you're looking for!
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
I have always loved this quote. It cost nothing to be kind to others but I guarantee you that it means the world to the people you encounter. Hopefully this post finds you all well this holiday season! If you have any questions regarding my kindness unit, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you and any ideas you have used for teaching kindness in the classroom.