Monday, October 28, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Lesson & Activity

After seeing other school counselors share what they did during Random Acts of Kindness week in their schools, I decided that I too wanted to try it at my school.  What is Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) you may ask?  Well it's when people do kind things to others, unexpectedly.  The random act of kindness can be as simple as giving a smile, helping someone with a task or even anonymously leaving something to brighten someone's day. So here's what I did at JYJ:

-Counselor intern Kelly and I did a Random Acts of Kindness themed lesson for each grade level.

-We did a lesson on RAK where we showed examples of how RAK is shown in our school (well I actually had to "stage" the acts done by students so I could photograph them clearly but you get my drift).  It was great to get students to participate, we had many willing participants.

Counselor intern Kelly and a 1st grade teacher Anita were so kind to "participate" in showing students RAK.

Another example of showing RAK (of course the counselor shows RAK)

- For the younger grades we read the books Ribbon Rescue by Robert Munsch (thanks to Felicia Carter a school counselor from Louisville, KY for recommending this book to me) or Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson.  Each book discusses how one act of kindness can make such a positive impact on so many people.

-For our older grades we showed and discussed a video clip that I saw on the TV show Sunday Morning where an 82 year old man gives free haircuts to the homeless each week (by the way, Sunday Morning is one of my favorite shows, they have the most interesting and insightful stories). We had some great discussions from this clip.

-For each class we had students to tell us ways they've shown or received random acts of kindness. 

-Our school display came from an idea that I saw on Pinterest, where for each random act of kindness that students do, they tie a ribbon to a wreath frame and throughout the year we'll be able to see how much kindness was shown school wide!  I got the wreath at AC Moore (which always has coupons and offers a educator discount) for $4 and the ribbon was 3 spools for $1 (I was able to get more ribbon from donations from parents).   I used a 3M Command Hook to hang the "RAK Wreath".  We cut strips of the ribbon and pinned them in a plastic bag in the middle of the wreath.   

RAK display
A student ties a ribbon on the RAK wreath for each RAK that they do.
Counselor intern Kelly & I tie a ribbon on our RAK wreath. 
-Both myself and Kelly wrote nice notes, gave out bottled water, pencils/pens and stickers for random students and even treats to some teachers on each grade level.  I found this free RAK printable on Pinterest from the Make Them Wonder Blog.

RAK notes from the Make Them Wonder Blog
RAK bottles of water and pencils that we gave to students. 
Here's what the wreath looked like after the 1st week of RAK:

I was so excited to see how full the wreath became only after 1 week!
I can't wait to see what it looks like after a month.  If our RAK continues I plan to put up another wreath to keep the RAK going.  We've had do many compliments from staff and parents.  Students are constantly coming up and telling us what kind things they are doing.
It's a great pick me up, doing RAK's for students,  especially for children that go "under the radar" as we say. Actually most people enjoy a pick me up (I certainly do)! 

Kindness goes a long way in my book and I hope that it's had a lasting impression for my school family.  We plan to continue our random acts of kindness all year long!

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  1. This is a lovely post! Acts of kindness should be encouraged more often and around the world. It would make it such a happier place to live in.

  2. This post couldn't have come at a better time for me! :) I am starting my RAK unit this week with my kids. Thank you... I appreciate you sharing!

  3. Hey there! I've noticed hits on my blog, Make Them Wonder, coming from here. It's awesome to see friends using the RAK tags. I was thrilled to click over and see all the kindness being spread through your school. Keep up the good work!

  4. Great ideas! I especially like the wreath idea because it makes such a nice visual of something that may be invisible.

  5. I love your ideas, especially the recommended books; but I was most excited to see that you enjoy Sunday Morning- it's my favorite show!