Improve life outcomes

Jumpstart: Kindness - Universal


CASEL Competency Focus: Social Awareness
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: Coloring Utensils, Paper, Board/Chart Paper

1. Express what kindness means to you.
2. List possible acts of kindness.

Definitions of Key Terms:

  • Kindness: being friendly, generous and/or considerate; something you do or say.
  • Inspire: fill someone with the urge or want to do something.

Lesson Procedures

Introduction: Never underestimate the power of kindness. Acts of kindness can change a person’s day…and sometimes change a person’s life. Extending kindness to others does not have to be a grand gesture. Some small acts of kindness include a simple note of gratitude or encouragement, introducing yourself to a new classmate, sitting with someone alone at lunch, or even holding the door open for others. Discuss these examples and have the students provide additional examples. Ask students to remember a time someone was kind to them. What took place? How did they feel? When was the last time they did something kind for others? How did that make them feel?

Game Time:

Provide students with paper and crayons/markers/colored pencils. Instruct students to use words and images to illustrate what kindness means to them. Have students share. Discuss common themes and ideas expressed by the class.


Instruct students to list (either verbally or written) three people who have inspired them to be kind. Next, have the students select at least one person to whom they could extend a kind gesture. What will that gesture be? Encourage students to put thought into the act, make it personal. Assist students in completing the gestures.

Try it out!

Consider implementing a “Kindness Jar” in the classroom. Have students (and you) recognize when a kind act has occurred. Place a marble or other object in a jar. When the jar is full, celebrate by spreading kindness outside the classroom. Volunteer as a class, do a food drive, write notes to those in the service or nursing home. Be creative! Let the students decide how to pay it forward.