This week in Peace of Mind class at Lafayette we are turning our attention to kindness. We have spent the past several weeks working on conflict resolution and now at the end of the year, when the weather warms up and the kids are gearing up for summer, we are bringing our focus back onto kindness.
In 5th grade we are doing the Kindest Things project. This is a wonderful project to do with a class. We take a whole class period and spend it thinking about the best in each one of the children in the class. One by one we think about each child and write down the kindest thing we can think of to say about them. I am always heartened by the thoughtful, creative and surprising things the kids have to say about one another.
There’s one little boy that I’ll call Frank who is a bit shy and awkward and has some serious learning challenges. As the 5th graders get older and start morphing into pre-teens before my eyes I have worried that Frank would be left behind, that he wasn’t cool enough to fit in. But I was so thrilled to read the comments the kids wrote about Frank: “the nicest person in the school”, “always has a smile for everyone”, “he is filled with kindness”, “Frank is awesome!”
Giving the kids a chance to pour their hearts out, anonymously, which is very important for their comfort, is a wonderful way to encourage kindness. The project allows kids to stop and see the good in every person in the class. And the looks on their faces when a week later they get the sheet of paper with all of the kind things their classmates said about them is priceless. I really encourage you to try this project with your students. It’s a bit of typing for you but so worthwhile. I’ve even had students take their Kindest Things paper to college with them!
Have a peaceful week!