I will place two buckets in the front of the room. One will be labeled “The Bucket of Kindness” and it will be empty. In the other bucket I will put 50 marbles.
I will explain to students what the bucket is and how it can be used. We will use it to work for rewards as a class. It reflects our behavior as a whole, and how we act towards each other. When the class as a whole is on task and following the rules they will earn marbles into the bucket, when they are not following the rules or not being polite to each other they will loose marbles. They must work as a team to fill the bucket. One student’s behavior can earn marbles but it can also get them taken away. As a class, I will ask the class for their definition or a synonym of the word kindness.
I will put students together in groups of 3 or 4 based on their alphabetical seating arrangement. There are 2 parts to the activity that they should complete in their groups.
1. Each group will get two different colored sentence strips. I will explain that as a group they will collaborate on the meaning of the word kindness. On one color they must write up what kindness “looks” like (ie-holding the door, helping other students with class work). On the other they must write up what kindness “sounds” like (ie-“please” and “thank you”). They will make 4 of each color.
2. I will explain to each group that when they have completed their sentence strips, they should choose one of the examples to design a short 2 minute skit around. I will emphasize to students that the skit should be brief and the purpose is so the class can see what kindness really looks like and sounds like.
I don't assign roles for this activity because groups in the past, keeping "kindness" in mind, have worked out who was going to write on the sentence strips and their roles in the skit. If there is a disagreement in a group, remind them that they need to be kind to each other.
After groups have discussed and completed their kindness sentence strips, we will reconvene to share their ideas. I will choose a student from each group to put their sentence strips together on a bulletin board over the bucket of kindness. Then I will call each group forward to act out their skit in front of the class.
Being mindful of time, students will not comment on each skit.
I will share my thoughts of their skits with the class. If the skits have been performed well with students taking the activity seriously, I will praise students on a job well done. If the skits have involved a lot of silliness and the students haven't demonstrated kindness, then I will give the students a homework assignment.
Also I will remind them that their examples of kindness are what I expect to see throughout the year and as a result the empty bucket will be get filled with marbles.
This homework can be given to students whether the skits are successful or not as a reinforcement of the day's lesson.
Each student will pick either a “looks like” or a “sounds like” and will write a paragraph about the last time they were kind to someone. Remind students that a paragraph contains at least 5 sentences and that they should include detail of the situation. This can also help in gauging student writing ability as this lesson is taught so early in the year.