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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kindness; Character Education 3

Elbert Hubbard: Recipe for having friends; be one.
Theodore Issaac Rubin: Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.  

Children can be cruel to each other; teasing someone and then saying, I was playing, or I'm only kidding is not acceptable.  Instilling kindness is essential to put an end to bullying.  Kindness is the character trait that is basic to all that is good.  Kindness can be shown by being friendly, willing to help, being gentle or empathetic.  Showing acts of kindness can improve the quality of life.  The kindness we show to people, animals, and to the earth is given, and then reflected back to us.

Art Activity: The Kind Tree
Scroll down to the bottom of kindness for the outline.  Copy and then trace the two flower outlines on colored paper.  If you are using this for older children, you can use leaves for those who may not want flowers.  In the center of the smaller flower, have children dictate or write a way they are going to be kind to others, (it is helpful to brainstorm ways of being kind to others, first).  Glue the center of the small flower onto the center of the large flower, fold peddles inward and roll the tips.  On butcher paper or the back of wrapping paper, draw the outline of a tree or shrub, and glue the flowers on.  

Suggested Stories:
Have you Filled a Bucket Today, by Carol McCloud; Younger
A heartwarming book that encourages positive behavior.  Children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness.  The concept of filling the bucket with happiness through kindness.  

Night Watch, by Roy Popkin; Older  Chicken Soup for the Soul
A tender story about a young serviceman's kindness to someone he didn't even know.
(story can be found at

More Activities:
1. Have a thank you day.  Find opportunities to say Thank You!  Say thank you to the neighbor who is nice to you, a friend who is kind, the mail carrier, a teacher, the school custodian, the school secretaries, lunch personnel...  

2. Brainstorm ways you can be kind to people who have special needs.

3. Discuss what a good friend truly is.  What is it that changes a person into a friend?  How are friends kind to each other?  What kind of behavior is not a real friend?

4. Write a paragraph about a time you showed kindness, or someone showed kindness to you.  How did it feel to give or receive the kindness?  Decorate and post the writings on a kindness board.

5.To be kind is a decision.  We can decide to be kind, considerate, rude, or mean.  Discuss how we can choose to be kind, and how being kind can become a good habit.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tattling; Don't Squeal, Blue or Red, and Tattling Certificate; Friend/Social Skills 4

Children must be taught that reporting possible dangerous or harmful behavior is not tattling.  We want our children to come to us if they are scared, or see someone else getting hurt.  If a child is concerned about something that does not seem right, they should find a trusted adult to talk to.  Tattling is not reporting.  Tattling is done with the goal of getting someone else in trouble, as a way to solve a small problem, or to manipulate a situation.    An example is when a child who doesn't get his or her way in deciding what game to play, may warn others that they are going to tell, knowing the friends or sibling will get in trouble.

Blue or Red     
(Hand out squares of construction paper that are blue and red.  Can substitute raise your hand, cross your arms).

What is the difference in tattling or requesting help to report something that has happened.  Read the list below and have your child/students hold up the blue card for tattling (or raise your hand), and hold up the red card (cross your arms), to report something important.  Discuss the reasons why it is tattling or reporting as you go along.

Michele keeps trying to push/trip me (reporting)
Antonio won’t play with me (tattling)
Robert said there’s a fight at the field after school (reporting)
Tanya fell down the stairs (reporting)
Sarah won’t play with me (tattling)
Bobby didn’t bring his math book (tattling)
Keisha ran into the street (reporting)
Raj was throwing leaves (tattling)
Bella is throwing rocks (reporting)
Alton cut in front of me in the lunch line (tattling)
Mark has a knife (reporting)
Maryann took something that wasn't hers (reporting)
Ty keeps looking at me weird (tattling)
Amy keeps trying to trip me (reporting)
Keisha didn't bring her homework (tattling)
Jose has a dirty desk (tattling)
Mohamed's foot is stuck in the fence (reporting)

Story Suggestion:

Don't Squeal Unless It's a Big Deal, by Jeanie Franz Ransom
Mrs. McNeal endured a morning full of squealing-tattling, from her students.  The teacher explains that the kids (piglets), should work out their small problems on their own, and come to her when the problems are more serious.  This book has a humorous touch and has notes at the end of the book to discuss common reasons why children tattle and how to use problem solving skills.
Pledge Page
Print out and have each child sign a pledge page that they will not tattle.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Book About Me & I'm Special Booklet; Self Esteem 4

You Are Special
A child's self esteem is constantly changing.  It constantly fluctuates.  A healthy self esteem helps children feel good about themselves and then they are confident around their peers.  Children with low self esteem are likely to get frustrated with themselves easily, and they can be a target to get picked on.  The following activity, self esteem book, is a fun way for children to feel special, learn about themselves, and feel confident.  There is a younger and older version.

My Book About Me & Special Qualities; Younger and Older Versions

Special Qualities; Older

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Paper Plate Face and Pass The Token: Feelings 6

Expressing Yourself
Children do not always understand the range of their feelings.  By helping children to identify and express feelings, they are learning to deal with emotions in a healthy manner.  When a child can pinpoint what he/she is feeling, it is easier for them to get their needs met.  Children learn to express emotions through art, imaginative play, and mimicking the behavior of others.

Paper Plate Face
Decorate paper plates with various feelings gluing on yarn for hair and using crayons or colored pencils to draw on the face.

Pass the Token
You will need a small stuffed animal, small ball, or some type of token to be passed.  Have children sit in a circle; if there are only two people then face to face.  Give the token to a child and out loud the child says:
I am happy when...  The child then passes the token to the next child.  After everyone has had a turn, go on to the next feeling.

I am happy when...
I am angry when...
I am super excited when...
I am sad when...
I am surprised when...
I am scared when...
I am lonely when...

I Feel When
Go over each feeling and then have children fill out the worksheet.