This ‘Small Acts of Kindness’ activity can be used for primary pupils of any age. Instead of writing, younger pupils can draw or photograph small acts of kindness to use in the ‘kindness cards’ activity.
This activity focuses on all acts of kindness, but especially those small acts that can make a very real difference to people’s lives and impact positively on each other, our schools, communities and the wider world.
- What is kindness? Come up with an agreed definition as a class.
- Introduce the idea of a ‘small act of kindness’. What might this be?
- Discuss what small acts of kindness pupils have come across in their lives – perhaps they have been kind to others, or others have been kind to them. What did they do and how did this make them feel? How did it make other people feel?
- Discuss why a small act such as tidying something up without being asked, saying thank you to someone or giving them a hug, or helping a friend with something they are struggling with like homework may help to put a smile on somebody’s face.
Kindness in the wider world
- Share with older pupils the idea of suspended coffees and discuss how acts of kindness can be monetary in terms of buying a coffee for somebody.
- Share and discuss the idea of alternative advent calendars, where instead of opening a door each day for advent prior to the Christian Christmas celebration, some people put an item into a box and on the final day they gave the box to somebody in need.
Creating Kindness Cards
- Give out pieces of card and coloured pens to pupils and ask them to create small cards with a small act of kindness that can be done in school written on each of them. Depending on your class, you may need to offer additional support or ask pupils to work in pairs or small groups. For those who struggle to write in full sentences, they could draw or take photographs and add captions to them.
- Discuss how these acts might help somebody and what the feelings for the giver and the receiver might be.
- Emphasise that this isn’t about spending money on doing something to help somebody but it is about the act itself. A small act can have a huge impact. E.g. smiling at somebody who is unhappy will help them feel that someone has noticed and cares.
- Put the cards in a suitable ‘kindness box’ and every morning ask each child to take out a card and perform that act of kindness. You could put a sticker or smiley face on a reward card so pupils can see how many acts they have performed over a week/month.
- Discuss how the acts of kindness can help to improve the world we live in. Ask pupils to share their ideas for small acts of kindness they could do at home or in their community.
- Keep talking about the acts of kindness over the course of the week as the pupils perform them and beyond. How did it make them feel to give or receive a small act of kindness?
Ideas for extension:
- Pupils could create a bar chart for how many different times a particular act of kindness card was used so they can see the impact they have had on their class or the whole school.
Ideas for small acts of kindness:
- Smile at 5 people today
- Ask someone to join in a game
- Help to organise or sort out equipment in the classroom
- Write a letter or card to a friend
- Give someone a compliment
- Make a special effort to say thank you
- Draw a picture for someone
- Say thank you in a different language to your own 6 times today
- Help a friend with something you know they find tricky