- Watch short videos depicting real-life stories of people who have made their communities a kinder, more welcoming space for others
- Engage students in a conversation about kindness, and how they help (and would like to help) people in their family, school, or neighborhood
When children are exposed to media that depicts prosocial behavior (i.e., actions that promote others’ well-being), research shows that children are more likely to demonstrate higher levels of empathetic concern and prosocial behavior themselves. Educators should encourage students to practice perspective taking as they “put themselves in the narrators’ shoes” and imagine their feelings and experiences, and kindness as they consider ways they can help people in their own communities.
To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.
- Engage students in a conversation about practicing kindness. You might ask:
• What does kindness mean to you?
• What are some examples of kind actions?
• Can you share about a time when someone was kind to you? What did they do? How did their actions make you feel?
• How do you help people in your family, school, or community? How do you feel when you help others?
- After your conversation, watch the following animations and reflect on how simple acts of kindness can have a big impact.
These videos were recorded and produced by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories.
Students Ages 5-8 Years Old
- How do Yelitza and Willie describe the first dinner they had together? How did they show kindness to each other, and what emotions do you think they felt?
- Why is their friendship important to both of them? How do they support and encourage each other?
- Who are some people at our school who might enjoy, or benefit from, some extra appreciation? In the next few days, what is something kind that we should do for them? (e.g., write them friendly letters)
Students Ages 8-11 Years Old
- How does Herman help his neighbors?
- Robert mentions that Herman always has a smile and treats the residents with respect, even when he’s pushing a heavy shopping cart up a hill. What do you think this shows about Herman? Why do people appreciate him so much?
- Herman says that helping others makes him feel really good too. Can you relate to this feeling? How does showing kindness to someone else help us too?
- During the next week, what are some ways that you can help your family members or neighbors? How can you show that you care about them?
If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...
Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call.
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.
If students in either class don’t have individual devices...
Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.