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Classroom Link
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Friday, 22 September 2017
Classroom Link


* Incorporate the Kindness theme into writing by creating related journal topics, having the kids write kind letters to people, writing thank you notes, making posters encouraging kindness to hang around the school and possibly in stores in your community, creating stories of kindness both true and fictional, having children write about their favorite act(s) of kindness they have committed…  Try some poetry or essays specifically about the power of kindness…  After reading One Smile brainstorm a list of kind things kids can do.


* Cut the bottom of a sheet of construction paper with 6 slices (as if you were hanging up an ad on a bulletin board with rip-off phone numbers.)  On each, write 1 kind thing you and your family can do.  On the top draw pictures of people doing kind things.  Tear the slices off when you do them.  Try to do them all!



* Arrange for your children to be guest readers and read their writing to other classes~ especially to children in the younger grades.  Challenge the students to find other books that have kindness as a theme.  Have them write (and video record?) book talks about their choices.


* If your class is excited about all the brainstormed ideas, see if you can extend it and create a chart of “100 Ways to be Kind”.  (You could even challenge each class in the school to try to record 100 kind acts!) Add an element of Science by including ideas for being kind to the Earth. How about your community?  Encourage the children to try out many of the ideas and check them off as they are done.  Can your class do all of them?  (Can you be done before the 100th day of school?)  Can you list more than 100?  You could conduct a Kindness Challenge with another class.  You could graph each class that is participating and watch the graph grow! (See the Social Studies tie-in for more math ideas.)

social studiesSocial Studies:

* Build a “Pathway to Kindness” with cut-out bricks!  Have children write the kind things they do on bricks cut from construction paper.  Tape them to the wall and begin to make a path around your classroom (or throughout the hallways your school).  (Tie into math by having students predict, estimate, and measure the length of the path as it grows.)  Extend this activity and tie it into another area of your curriculum by choosing another area of the city, state, country or world that your class will learn about.  Make each brick equal 1 mile (for example) and set a goal of how many bricks will be needed to reach the destination.  Space these “destinations” out accordingly and “visit” them when they are reached.



 * Plant a small sapling. (In the book, Jacob plants trees.) Call it "My Kindness Tree".  Tell kids; as it grows, every time you see it, let it remind you to do something kind.



* Would your local newspaper publish some of the students’ writings or drawings promoting kindness?  Maybe they would want to write an article about what your class/ school is doing to promote kindness.  Would local businesses or the library hang up posters your students have made?  Perhaps some local business owners would come in to your classroom to discuss how forms of kindness helped them get where they are today.


*Encourage the children to recycle common items to create collage cards or posters. Mount and laminate them. Send them to the children’s ward at an area hospital to cheer up staff members and young patients, or to a senior citizens home to cheer up the elderly.


* On paper plates, encourage each child to be as unique as possible and make a smiley face. Decorate the classroom or school with them to remind everyone that even a simple smile can be a tremendous act of kindness.

Draw/ paint a tree with branches on construction paper.  (Trees are a theme in One Voice.)  Have cut-out leaves for kids.  On each leaf they write something kind they can do. Glue leaves on tree.


* Make a Kindness Can: cover small cans -like soup cans- in white contact paper or paint white ahead of time... or have things they can use to decorate a plain can. Kids write "Kindness Can... Change the world" on it.  Have slips of paper on which kids write kind things they can do for someone else.   Put them in the can.  Or......

* (With the Kindness Can idea above): Kids can put in a penny every time someone in their family does something nice or notices something nice done for them. Save to buy a sapling tree to plant- or anything the school or classroom wishes for. 

* Loop yellow ribbon (yellow ribbon is from One Voice) through shapes cut from construction paper (i.e.: hearts for kindness).  On each shape: write a kind act on one side and "Pass it on" on the other.  Tie ribbon closed.  Kids hand this to others when they do the kind act for them and remind them to pass on the kindness.


* I like to read the book and have the kids come up to be the characters.  They pass a little Smiley Guy to the next character when their character passes on the kindness so the kids can “see” the kindness travel from Katie, through the town, and then back to her.  (If they can stand in a circle around the rest of the class it provides a visual representation of the “circle” aspect.)  For fun and to keep track of who is who, I let each child hold a prop to represent his or her character, such as:

Katie:  Smiley Guy

Sad Man: Newspaper & a stuffed dog

Business Lady: Purse

Waitress: Apron

Waitress’ Son: Soccer Ball

Neighbor Girl: Toy Phone

Nana: Stationary & Pen

Grandson: Sheet of Stickers

Girl at Doctor: Fake Arm Cast

Auto Shop Dad:  A Work Shirt

More Dramatic Play:  Using props, music, and anything else available, have small groups choose an act of kindness in One Smile and act it out in more detail. How would the scene be different if the act of kindness hadn’t occurred? Have them imagine the outcome and act out an alternate version of the same scene.

If you would like to share an activity you have created for your classroom from One Smile, click below. We will add some new activities to the website periodically, so check back to get some great ideas.