The kindergarten and first-grade classes have met the past two Tuesdays as part of our Swooper Citizens program. This month we are discussing the very important character trait of kindness. Last week, we shared this short video clip with the students to get them thinking about kindness.
Students listened to the book The Invisible Boy, by Tracey Ludwig.
“Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class.
When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish.”
This book gave us many wonderful opportunities to discuss kindness and how kindness relates to the students. We touched on how it feels to be excluded, or how it feels to be asked to join a game. (There is always room for one more!) We talked about the students’ feelings when someone has a play date or party and they aren’t included. We talked about having a party and not being able to include everyone but making sure to talk about the event when those who weren’t included aren’t around. We then asked the children to think of examples of times when someone has been kind to them.
We followed up the first lesson on kindness with a second, where we talked about how manners play an important role in showing kindness. In wanting to get the children up and moving, I prepared four sentence strips with a phrase on each: “Thank you.You’re welcome. Please. and Excuse me.” I taped these into the corners of the classroom. The goal of the game was for students to walk to the corner that had the most appropriate response to the scenario we posed. For example, “By accident, you knock over a younger child. What do you say to that person?” or “You want to go to your friend’s house. What polite word would you use to ask your mom?” Take a peek at the game in action:
I then read aloud a funny book called Mary Louise Loses Her Manners, by Diane Cuneo.
“One morning, after some particularly shocking–but awfully funny–breakfast behavior, Mary Louise realizes that she has lost her manners. I’ve paid so little attention to them, she thinks, that they’ve up and run away! She has no choice but to begin a search mission.
From a neighborhood restaurant to a doctor’s office, past a hot dog vendor then a street musician, and even into the library, Mary Louise tries to find her manners. Instead, she ends up making more trouble everyplace she goes. Have her manners deserted her forever?”
I am happy to report that Mary Louise finds her manners! This week, the kindergarteners will be practicing using good manners as a way to show kindness. Be on the lookout at home for some extra pleases and thank yous!