Although a lot of schools no longer embrace holiday parties, teachers and school professionals are not immune to the chaos of the holidays. Studentsknow winter break is coming and their energy level is high (to say the least). It’s time to harness some of that energy for good instead of crazy, and reinforce the season of giving with your students. Below are 6 strategies you can implement inyour classroom to help bring the spirit of giving into your classroom. Remind your students that every intentional act of service is bringing kindness to the world – so everyone can make a difference!
- Establish a Random Acts of Kindness week, with students brainstorming ways that they can make a difference in someone else’s life. Students can find inspiration in what makes them happy, or even in lists like this and this.
- For a list of books that center around the themes of helping others, check out Books Kids Love. Also take into consideration, The Lorax, Amos and Boris, and Horton Hears a Who.
- Brainstorm what it means to be homeless, and what it means to sacrifice dignity. Once this discussion has been held, consider gathering supplies to make Blessing Bags or Homeless Backpacks. Students can be a huge contributor to these: they can bring in the supplies and each take a bag home to give away (with their parent or guardian), and they can even help to figure out what might be useful for someone who doesn’t have a home. By engaging students in researching the issue, they can truly grasp what it means to have these supplies at the ready.
- Consider ways in which students can bring some cheer to the elderly in your community. Making homemade well-wishes cards, or even sending a homemade video with a greeting can go a long way.
- Encourage re-connectionin your own classroom. Even though testing and deadlines won’t go away, remind yourself and your students of the care you have for one another.You can find some great ideas on reconnecting in your classroom here.
- Create a research project around fair trade, and dignity and rights of workers and children. Encourage students to write about a day in the life of someone who may be unjustly treated as they work to create the goods we purchase. The following websites can be helpful: Kids for Global Peace, Humanium, Teaching Tolerance, and Whyzz.com.
So, save the candy canes for the last day of school before break (as they are walking out the door!). You and your students are all set to unleash your potential to make the world a better place!
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