Monday, January 20, 2014

Kindness and Love

I introduced my favorite video to my class on Friday when we talked about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the importance being kind to everyone.  It may be one of my favorite moments of the year- watching the kids "get it" when one person is kind to the next, and that person is then kind to someone else, etc. etc.    You could  hear a pin drop in the room as they watched.  We watched it three times (and probably would have more if it hadn't been a half day.) I love it as an adult- and yet it is perfect for the children, too. 

One of my little girls said, "I just sort of want to cry when I watch this. " OH MY GOSH- I love her. Because I always have a knot in my throat when I watch the kids watch this.  I try to point out the kind acts as they happen, and sort of want to cry, too. 

Before we watched the video, we read about Martin Luther King, Jr.  and did lots of class sorts to show that it is just silly to say that only the blue eyed children or brown haired children can play with the Legos or get a drink from the drinking fountain.   "OF COURSE that is ridiculous!" the kids faces seemed to say.  Of course it is.  

This lesson is lots of fun to help the children remember that we are all the same on the inside!

We  also did our M&M lesson, where  the children get to choose their favorite color and eat it. The next time, they have to close their eyes and pick an unknown color and eat it. THEN, they have to tell me what color they ate.

(We model how it is NO FUN to cheat because it ruins the game. It is easy to tell the color when you open your eyes and cheat... They sort of need to be reminded of that. After that, I didn't have anyone even try to cheat.)

This is one of my favorite bracelets that I have. It is from Signals.  I wear it all the time.
I liked this poster, too! Yum...

This is a great book about Kindness!
Richard Giso made a great activity to go with Kindness is Cooler.
 Kindness IS Cooler, Mrs. Ruler ProjectKindness IS Cooler, Mrs. Ruler ProjectKindness IS Cooler, Mrs. Ruler Project

Another favorite book is:
If you haven't read this book, here is a synopsis from Amazon:
 Ordinary Mary is an ordinary girl from an ordinary school, on her way to her ordinary house-who stumbles upon ordinary blueberries. When she decides to pick them for her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a chain reaction that multiplies around the world. Mrs. Bishop makes blueberry muffins and gives them to her paperboy and four others-one of whom is Mr. Stevens, who then helps five different people with their luggage-one of whom is Maria, who then helps five people-including a man named Joseph who didn't have enough money for his groceries-and so on, until the deed comes back to Mary.

We started with a good vocabulary lesson about "ordinary,"  "extraordinary,"  and "deed."  The book really got my kids thinking that they could each make a difference by doing something kind.  They also loved the fact that it was a CIRCLE STORY!  Gotta love that!

The very favorite part was the last page which shows exactly how one kind deed can touch everyone in the whole world. Mary made five people happy.  They each made five people happy, so that made 125 happy people - and so on... See for yourself...

Another similar and wonderful book is The Boy Who Changed the World, by Andy Andrews.
Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

The Boy Who Changed the World opens with a young Norman Borlaug playing in his family’s cornfields with his sisters. One day, Norman would grow up and use his knowledge of agriculture to save the lives of two billion people. Two billion! Norman changed the world!  Or was it Henry Wallace who changed the world?  Or maybe it was George Washington Carver?

Both books have a wonderful message, but both were a bit wordy and long for my children.  I condensed some of it so they understood the theme and message, because the message is fabulous.

This book is a simple, pay-it-forward message of kindness. 
Even the smallest acts of kindness can powerfully impact the lives of others. This truth is beautifully demonstrated as we follow the far-reaching effects of young Katie's innocent smile.
With this simple gesture, she ignites a circle of warmth that flows from person to person, touching the hearts and lives of people she may never even meet.


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