For this practice, you will need:
- A piece of paper
- A writing tool
Teachers: to prepare for the lesson, you might match students up to a student they normally don’t talk to for Practicing Acts of Kindness.
Practicing Acts of Kindness means that we are mindfully taking the time to be kind to another person. This week’s Practicing Acts of Kindness focus is on classmates. A lot of the time we have friends in class we like to hang out with and talk to, but the classmates we focus on in this practice are the ones you don’t know as well or might not ever talk to.
It can definitely be scary to talk or do something for someone you don’t know very well. We are all in this together! Take a moment to be mindful of what thoughts or feelings come up for you when you think of the practice. Once you notice some thoughts or feelings, go ahead and write them down or draw them (teacher can cue depending on developmental appropriateness).
[Optional] Teachers: you might ask students to submit feelings anonymously and have them close their eyes to vote on whether they agree by raising their hands. This practice can help diffuse some anxiety.
To Practice Acts of Kindness today, we will write a note of kindness to the classmate who we are matched with, or draw a kind picture for them. The note or drawing should say something nice about your classmate. It can be big or small, as long as it comes from your heart and is kind!
Take 5 minutes to write your short note of kindness or make a kind drawing. Be sure to write the name of your classmate somewhere on it. When you finish, wait for your teacher to give you instructions.
Teachers: after 5 minutes, direct students to exchange notes with their matched classmate.
After you exchange your note of kindness, take another mindful moment to notice how you feel after Practicing Acts of Kindness. Today you also got to receive Acts of Kindness! Write down how you feel, and share with your teacher and classmates if it feels okay to you!
Teacher’s Tip: If this practice resonates with you and your students, you can make Practicing Acts of Kindness a regular classroom activity. It is a great way to bring the classroom together and give students the opportunity to communicate with classmates outside of their friend group.
Student’s Tip: You can practice acts of kindness with your classmates as much as you’d like! Notes and drawings outside of class time are a great way to practice. You can also tell your classmates kind things and save paper! The sky is the limit with ways to Practice Acts of Kindness. It can be as simple as giving someone a nice big smile!