Teaching Kindness With Clifford the Big Red Dog
The focus of this Clifford lesson plan is to help students recognize and encourage acts of kindness.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
Woof! Woof! The focus of this lesson is to recognize acts of kindness through reading and language experiences and to encourage children to share acts of kindness with someone special.
Clifford’s Big Idea: Be Kind
Acts of kindness are not easily forgotten. When children are given opportunities to share kindness with others, they learn valuable social and emotional lessons that will influence them for a lifetime.
The following activities nurture essential:
- social and emotional skills
- literacy and language skills
- life skills
- fine motor skills
- Clifford Wants a Cookie or Cooking With Clifford by Norman Bridwell
- Canned or pre-prepared white icing
- Sugar cookies, at least two per student
- Nuts or small candy pieces for topping
- Aprons, one per student
- Spreading tools
- Small paper bags
- Ribbon, about 12 inches per student
- Hole puncher
Day 1: Cooking with Clifford!
Step 1: Help children express feelings and give examples of kindness that they have experienced at home and school.
Step 2: Encourage children to identify kind people in their lives.
Step 3: Read Clifford Wants a Cookie or Cooking With Clifford by Norman Bridwell aloud to the class.
Step 4: Ask children to retell the story in sequence by following the pictures.
Step 5: Discuss the details of Clifford’s time in the kitchen. Then ask children to answer the following question: Could a dog really make cookies?
Optional: Provide copies of the recipe from the book and encourage children to make Clifford’s cookies at home.
Day 2: Sweet Kindness!
Step 1: Stock centers with canned or pre-prepared white icing, sugar cookies, sprinkles, nuts or small candy pieces for topping, aprons, spreading tools, and small paper bags.
Step 2: Before beginning, have children express their feelings about someone that has shown them kindness. Explain to them that they are going to prepare a sweet treat of cookies for that person.
Step 3: Give each child a paper bag and crayons. Have them draw hearts, smiley faces, or designs of their own choice on the bag.
Step 4: Help students sign and date the bags.
Step 5: Break the students into groups and send them to the centers to ice the cookies and decorate them with the toppings provided.
Step 6: Divide the cookies evenly among the children. Have them place the cookies in the paper bags.
Step 7: Fold over the top of each bag and punch two holes 2-3 inches apart.
Step 8: Help students thread ribbon through the holes and tie it in a bow.
Step 9: Send the bags home with the students.
Optional: Start the next day by encouraging children to share how this act of kindness made them feel.
Kindness can be shown in many ways throughout the school day!
- Keep a kindness jar filled with simple goodies. Have children draw small rewards out of the jar when they model acts of kindness in the classroom or on the playground.
- Read children newspaper or magazine articles that reinforce the concept of kindness. Valuable life lessons can be learned from real-life accounts of kindness that touch hearts and teach compassion for others.
- Play the BE BIG: Be Kind Video Clip for students.
- Have students color the "K is for Kind" Reproducible.
These books support Clifford’s Big Ideas and reinforce valuable early literacy skills:
Also check out the Clifford the Big Red Dog Book List.