Every day should be a “kindness day,” but sometimes we get so busy that we forget how important it is to be kind to others. It doesn’t take much. A smile, a nod, an expression of appreciation or congratulations—these things matter.
World Kindness Day was introduced in 1998 by the “World Kindness Movement,” a coalition of non-governmental organizations that believe that kindness bridges the gaps between all people, regardless of race, religion, politics, gender, or ethnicity. This global organization (which includes Canada) is seeking to approach the United Nations to have World Kindness Day officially recognized and its members unanimously sign a Declaration of Support for World Kindness.
In the video “Kids explain Kindness,” kids are asked to explain what kindness means in their own words. You may wish to show it before or after the activity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFmZV5THGYc&feature=emb_logo
Gather students and ask:
Invite students to share their explanations of what kindness means. Record their oral responses (remembering the rules of confidentiality). Share on your school website.
Have a rich discussion about the message of this video and what students learned—or re-learned—about kindness. You might prompt students by asking what they noticed about who people gave the sticky notes to or where they placed the notes. Ask:
Pass out sticky notes of various colours and invite students to make simple messages that will make someone smile. Create a KINDNESS board like the one in the video either in your classroom, in the hall, or at the front of the school. Invite other classes to record and post small acts of kindness that they have either performed or been a recipient of. Virtual learners can participate too!
Sometimes we forget to recognize that everyone needs a little kindness now and then. Discuss how it feels to be the recipient of a kind act and how it feels to perform an act of kindness for someone else.
Brainstorm a list of people who might not experience acts of kindness very often (e.g., the school office staff, the caretaker, the bus driver, the librarian, parent volunteers).
Invite each student to find some way to recognize and appreciate one of these people. Here are some suggestions: