Editor’s note: We could all use a little warmth and kindness right now. Tracy Potash, a language arts intervention teacher from Pennington, New Jersey, shares her lesson plan to teach her middle school students about the importance of paying it forward.
With social media harassment on the rise in middle school, and the aftermath of an angry election season looming over everyone, I recently realized what my class really needed was some kindness. Inspired by World Kindness Day (which takes place in November, but can be celebrated at any time!), I put together the following Kindness Quest.
Key skills: Vocabulary acquisition and usage; identifying key ideas and author’s purpose; collaboration; integration of knowledge and ideas; research to build and present knowledge
Time: 1-2 weeks
Step 1: We revisited the Choices article "Mission Positive" from the October 2015 issue. If you didn’t catch it the first time, this piece encourages students to get creative while knocking out cruelty. The task: to rack up as many points as possible by expressing thanks, showing compassion, giving back, acting selflessly and spreading good vibes. It was a perfect addition to our lesson.