In previous lessons we explored how easy it is to jump to conclusions about people and rush to judgments that are possibly not true. If we knew other people’s stories, or at least became more skilled at putting ourselves in other people’s shoes, then it would be easier for us to come from a place of compassion. Today’s lesson is an extension of this idea and is about putting this newfound compassion into action. As students practice a random act of kindness, they discover that kindness actually has a dual purpose: extensive research has illustrated that when we are giving and generous with our time and resources, we feel an increased sense of well-being in ourselves. In this way, kindness doesn’t just benefit others, but also improves our own levels of happiness and satisfaction.
· Recognize that kindness and generosity are linked to increased happiness and well-being
Prior to teaching the lesson, watch the guest artist video and perform your own random act of kindness to share with your students.
Display the ‘welcome slide’ from the Lesson 11 PowerPoint as you begin.
As discussed in the teacher training, remember to make the suggested language below authentic to yourself and meaningful for your students.
* Slide 2
In this video, Kevin describes his donation to the people who work at the arena where the Cleveland Cavaliers play. Kevin explains that one way he was able to endure the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic was by focusing on how he could be helpful to others.
Introduce the next video of a few additional examples of random acts of kindness. You may use the video clips below or choose video clips from your own local context that you feel will better resonate with the students in your classroom or school community.
Example of What You Could Say:
“Kevin’s video showed us a big act of generosity, but even smaller acts of kindness can feel really good. Here are a few more examples of young people performing random acts of kindness which subsequently brought them joy.”
Reflect on the way the video clips illustrate how uplifting it feels to be kind and generous and explain that students will now plan and complete a random act of kindness themselves. Students can do this in a small group and record themselves, and then share it with the class. Or they could do this on their own and simply write about their experience. These random acts of kindness can be done during the class time or as a ‘take home’ project.
Example of What You Could Say:
“We just watched a few clips of people performing random acts of kindness. We also watched Kevin describe the way being generous in his life has had the benefit of helping him feel good too. This is something really wonderful about generosity and kindness; aside from improving the lives of others, it lifts your own spirits as well.
I did not want to ask you all to put yourselves out there without also trying this out myself, so I thought of a random act of kindness that would feel sincere to me. (Share your example).
As a class, let’s make a list of random acts of kindness together.”
*see Lesson 12 for this section
If you or your students would like to learn more about the ideas in this lesson, additional resources and third party links are included below.
The website Random Acts of Kindness.org describes additional ideas to support students in being kind to others.