Finding ways to promote kindness in the classroom is a job teachers take very seriously. A fun, creative project centered around the theme of being kind will help students learn how to model gratitude, acceptance and empathy through an intentional lesson plan.
The book, “The Cool Bean” by Jory John and Pete Oswald, is a unique story that promotes kindness. The story is part of a fun series of books that includes “The Good Egg” and “The Bad Seed.” “The Cool Bean” is about a group of beans from the same pod, all who grow up to be “cool” — except for one. That bean talks about his struggles fitting in with the other beans and how small acts of kindness make a big impact in his life.
For instance, in my classroom, we had a discussion about what small “act of kindness” my students can perform that would have a big impact on someone’s day. I explained that these gestures can be performed both in school and at home. Some examples my students came up with were:
- Offering to wash the dishes after dinner without being asked
- Helping a frustrated classmate with an assignment
- Complimenting a peer on their hard work and efforts
- Being a good listener when someone else is talking
Next step: we folded a white sheet of paper into thirds. In each section, we wrote one small act of kindness that we committed to do along with an illustration.
This was such a fun project that had students focusing on sprinkling kindness around in small ways that have big impacts. The kindness projects and activities that can follow this book are endless!
What other projects come to mind with this read-aloud lesson? Share your suggestions with us on Twitter by tagging @ArizonaEducator or using hashtag #ArizonaEducator.
About the author
Marissa Will is the mother of two toddlers, Olivia (4) and Logan (2). Writing was her first passion: she’s a freelance writer and a Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumna. Will is currently educating the future leaders of tomorrow: She has spent the past eight years teaching third grade with a master’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University-Yuma.