Happy (almost) World Kindness Day! November 13th is World Kindness Day and oh goodness does our world need some more kindness in it.
One of the (many) reasons I love being a teacher is how kind my students always are. From Kindergarten to Third Grade, I am amazed year after year about the level of care each of them have for each other and our community. While my kiddos come to me very inherently kind, it also takes deliberate planning on my part to make sure I am bringing out their empathy and cultivating a caring classroom community. I use my Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Block for this task!
In my SEL Block, we hold class meetings, do compliment circles, journal, reflect, and teach explicit SEL lessons. One explicit lesson that we usually do in the year is around kindness and acts of kindness. This year, I wanted to revamp it for World Kindness Day and center it around a new diverse book that was just published this October! Check out the lesson plan and resources below to center kindness in your own K-5 classroom.
When We Are Kind / Nihá’ádaahwiinít’íigo, written by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt
The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Between Representation & Exploration
I am a turning into a huge Monique Gray Smith fan! Her book When We Are Kind is a short picture book that is centered around kindness. In the beginning, each page details an act of kindness people do. The last section is all about how we feel when someone is kind to us. The book ends by stating, “When we are kind, we remember we are all related”. I love the focus on collectivism in this line and throughout the whole book!
When We Are Kind is written by Monique Gray Smith, a Native American author of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent, and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt, a Native American illustrator of Diné (Navajo) and European descent. The copy that I have is written in English and Diné because I believe this is a beautiful opportunity for students to experience Native language (we always want to be providing multiple windows and mirrors).
Lesson Plan & Materials
To celebrate and recognize this day, this lesson will have students explore kindness. First, students will read and discuss When We Are Kind: Nihá’ádaahwiinít’íigo, by Monique Gray Smith. Then, students will brainstorm acts of kindness they want to do that day and/or week. After, students will have a chance to fill out their Kindness Plan. Check out the extension options at the end to dive deeper into kindness within your classroom community!
We would love for you to use the resources here while also using your knowledge of your students/kids to meet their needs during this time. Feel free to change up the activities in our lesson plan/directions. Check out the following free resources we have created:
- World Kindness Day: K-5 Lesson Plan
- “My Kindness Plan” Worksheet
- This PDF has two versions – one with early learning handwriting lines and one with plain lines (see picture).
I would LOVE to see pictures of your kiddos’ Kindness Plans or any other photos of learning happening! Please tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using @ColorfulPagesOrg or email us your photos at firstname.lastname@example.org. It always warms my heart when I see people using our resources and furthering students’ access to diverse books!
Have a great World Kindness Day with your kiddos! Don’t forget to practice some self-kindness and take care of yourself during this crazy time ❤️