It’s no secret that teachers are facing challenging times in the classroom. Reports of bullying, intimidation, and disrespect have been on the rise in recent months. Teachers, now more than ever, are charged with the task of creating a more kind and inclusive environment for ALL of their students. One way to face those challenges is to provide direct instruction on kindness, compassion, and mutual respect. In addition to presenting relevant activities, teachers can also promote compassion by modeling expected behavior and incorporating inclusive instructional material and decor in their classrooms.
Activities for Teaching Kindness in the Classroom
In lieu of the need for teaching materials that foster kindness and compassion, teacher authors from around the globe have come together to offer FREE classroom materials for teachers. Beginning January 20th, 2017, you can head over to Teachers Pay Teachers and type #kindnessnation and/or #weholdthesetruths in the search bar. The results will feature dozens of materials for a wide range of grade levels.
In addition to teaching materials designed to promote kindness and compassion, FREE products with the following themes can also be found:
- Understanding our Branches of US Government and the US Constitution
- The history of the Civil Rights Movement, including suffrage
- Environmental issues (including climate change)
- Examining media bias (critical thinking)
- Equality and inclusion for all people
- Understanding and respecting cultural differences
Classroom Community Affirmation Posters
I am featuring Classroom Community Affirmation Posters for this important project. My subscribers can also access two additional style choices (a rainbow hands border as well as black-and-white copies) in my free resource library. These posters are designed to support kindness in the classroom, as well as inclusion, mutual respect, and compassion. You will find 16 affirmation posters as well as a student reflection page.
Here are a few of my favorite freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers related to kindness:
- Empathy Interactive Notebook Kit by Edventures at Home: If your students could benefit from learning about empathy and relating to other children, this product is perfect for you. It includes an adorable interactive notebook kit with meaningful activities. The empathy pledge at the end is my favorite! Check it out:
- Multilingual Peace Posters with Research and Writing Ideas by ESL Nexus: This product includes 15 peace posters in different languages. I was immediately drawn to the colors and the style, but most of all, I felt moved just thinking about each student’s inalienable right to feel safe and included. Check it out:
- The Kindness Club by Inspired Owl’s Corner: The thing I love most about this product is wide array of reinforcement available for students. Making kindness cool by creating an inclusive club is sure to have a positive impact on students. Do you know any kids that don’t love being a member of a cool club?
- 30 Days of Kindness Challenge by Literary Sherri: The calendar that you can print and use immediately is absolutely chalk full of fantastic kindness suggestions. If students want to make their own, she provides a blank template for students to fill in as well. On a side note, I am printing this one for use with my own children at home! Check it out:
- Classroom Community Character Traits Jigsaw Activity by Teaching in the Fast Lane: I love this jigsaw product because it focuses on character traits that are important in the classroom community (empathy, compassion, respect, courage, and inclusion). The interactive nature of the activity engages students and also holds them accountable for their learning. Check it out:
- Teaching Kindness: No Prep Lesson Plans and Printables by The Third Wheel: If you are worried about time (what teacher isn’t, right?), this product provides connections to literacy. The kindness goals and tickets are my favorite part of this activity! Check it out:
Please share links to your favorite freebies (from #kindnessnation and #weholdthesetruths on TPT) as well! I’d LOVE to check them out!
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” -Dalai Lama
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