Celebrating Kindness

Celebrate Kindness!

In a world with so much conflict, I believe students need reassurance from a trusted teacher that character still matters.

In my 6th grade class, we were recently discussing the topic of integrity.  Students were actually putting down other students who were trying to do well in class and insisted that they should just "copy/paste".  

That led to a discussion of plagiarism.  I gave a (somewhat) famous example of a now Harvard grad that was very publicly "busted" for copying multiple passages from an earlier published novel.  The students were quick to judge based on the evidence.  

We talked about the fact that whatever one puts their name on is a representation of that person.  Therefore, it is important that whatever bears one's name reflects back what the person stands for.  They all emphatically agreed given my first example.

Then I told them that this relates to them too.  How?  Well, when they slap any old thing down on paper and then send it my direction which bears their name, what does that tell me about them?  
Silence.  Contemplative looks.  
Now they were judging themselves.

So then I began to think about challenging the students to define what they stand for so we could display it as a constant reminder that character matters.  

This is how I did it:

#kindnessnation FREE Character Matters Activity that helps students determine what they stand for!

You can do this too with my free resource:  

It includes a link to the lyrics, a link to an online "What do you stand for quiz for teens, and mirrors you can copy for your students.

I use the "Man in the Mirror" song to help students reflect on what they stand for.

The key in all of this is that students are reminded daily that they
need to reflect what they stand for in their words and actions. 
So, when they are tempted to “talk trash”, these serve as
reminders to look for these positive traits in their classmates.  I will
often tell my students “Be a treasure hunter, not a trash
collector!”  My goal is to create “treasure collecting” as a culture in
my classroom.

I think kindness shouldn't be just an act we perform here and there, it must be a habit.  I plan to celebrate it EVERY day by encouraging my students to live the kindness they want to see in others.

I think kindness shouldn't be just an act we perform here and there, it must be a habit.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Such a wonderful trait to instill in your students! I love the magnifying glasses--thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Love this activity! Such a valuable lesson all students need to learn!

  3. I love this idea! "What do you stand for?" Great question!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love the activity with the song (man, any chance to use music and my students are ON it) and the display with the cut out mirrors. Great work!

  5. This activity is perfect for the #kindnessnation event. Thanks so much!

  6. What a powerful activity to do with your students. Thank you for sharing this with us! I can't wait to us it with my students!

  7. This is such a moving activity. Thank you for sharing!

  8. This is a fantastic idea! I struggle with helping my high school students understand the gravity of plagiarism, and I'm sure I could use this activity with them, too. Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a great idea, with a wonderful and necessary lesson. You're amazing!!


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