Practice random acts of kindness
Type of activity: A year-long project involving individual acts of kindness and group acts of kindness that can make a difference and change the world.
Adapt this lesson plan for your group.
Quotations for inspiration:
“Kindness is the universal language of the heart that bonds us as human beings—bringing hope and understanding in our connections and ultimately leading us to a more peaceful world.”
“We cannot know the grief that men may borrow;
We cannot see the souls storm-swept by sorrow;
But love can shine upon the way today, tomorrow;
Let us be kind.
Upon the wheel of pain so many weary lives are broken,
So may our love with tender words be spoken.
Let us be kind."
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
—Galatians 5:22, NIV
“Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
—Ephesians 4:32, NIV
Teaching kindness can connect students to others and their world. Groups will see that kindness changes people. Kindness can help children reflect God’s character to others.
- To teach students that even though they are young, even though they are only individuals, they can make a difference—in their communities and in the world.
- To encourage students to do acts of kindness individually and in groups.
- To teach that giving is even better than receiving
1. Prime the pump: Play film clips from the movie Pay It Forward. Find study guides on the Web.
Trevor McKinney’s teacher gives the class an assignment: Do something that could change the world. Kevin comes up with the notion that when someone does you a favor, you don‘t pay it back, you “pay it forward” to three other people. Trevor learns that one person can make a difference that can send ripples through a family, a community, and the world.
2. Tour the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit at Medical Teams International with your students. The exhibit not only helps students experience REAL. LIFE. for their peers whose lives have been affected by disaster, conflict, and poverty, but it also helps students discover “I Can Make a Difference.” The exhibit broadens their understanding of the world and introduces them to peers whose lives are very different from their own.
3. Discuss these questions with your group:
- Can one person really make a difference? Give examples.
- How can one person make a difference?
- How did Trevor start a statewide movement? (He simply helped people in a way they couldn't help themselves.)
- Numerous lives were touched because one boy made an effort to help three people. How could the efforts of helping one person multiply to others?
- How can we help someone around us?
4. Assign these possible writing/journal exercises:
- What will I do to make a difference?
- How can I practice random acts of kindness?
- Who most needs my kindness?
- Sometimes kindness is most precious when it is extended to someone who can’t possibly return the kindness. Who might that be?
5. Responses from students in one classroom after they practiced random acts of kindness:
- “I think acts of kindness made my heart cleaner and fresher.”
- “Helping people gave me a wonderful feeling inside. It’s a feeling of achievement and happiness. I made someone smile, and I hope that person makes someone else smile, and on and on.”
- “I think acts of kindness make people’s day brighter. Even though I don’t have to do this as an assignment anymore, I find myself continuing to do kind things to help people each day.”
- “Acts of friendship made my friendships grow.”
- “The best part was the feeling I got when I helped someone else.”
- “I started doing acts of kindness even when they were not assigned.”