Post it. Write out simple definitions of “love” and “kindness” on large, easy-to-read poster boards. Place the posters in a prominent spot in your classroom. This way, students will be able to see them every day, all year long.
Give examples. Talk about what it means to be kind and why being nice is so important. Regularly ask students to give an example of something they can do to show kindness towards others.
Start a kindness jar. Keep track of your students’ acts of kindness, and catch them in the act! Give each student a small pom-pom each time you notice them doing or saying something kind to drop into a jar. When the jar is full, celebrate with a party or special treat.
As a teacher, there are few things more important than teaching your students about kindness. While you hope they’ll walk out of your classroom at the end of the school year with a host of new educational skills, instilling kindness in them along the way is a truly invaluable gift.
Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to teach your students about the importance of being kind. And Clifford, everyone’s favorite Big Red Dog, is the perfect pup to help you get the job done! With his lovable personality and amusing antics, Clifford is a great way to bring lots of kindness—and lots of laughs—into your classroom.
Here are three fun and easy ways you can teach kindness through Clifford this Valentine’s Day (which also happens to be his birthday!). You can also find best-selling Clifford books here.
1. Think big, but start small.
Just like in Clifford’s Puppy Days: Puppy Love, lots of students—especially younger ones—may not yet fully understand what words like “love” and "kindness” truly mean. Read the story to your class and spend some time defining these words, giving lots of examples along the way. Here are a few ideas and discussion questions to kickstart your lessons: