This time of year, kids tend to focus more on what THEY hope to receive rather than on what they are giving (wait–isn’t that backwards?!), so I decided to make it a teachable moment. I started by showing my 2nd graders a clip from the movie “Arthur Christmas” on wingclips.com.
We discussed how elves help Santa because Santa really couldn’t do it on his own. Then I told the students that Santa asked me to recruit some helpers (because all teachers and parents know Santa–where else would he get the info for his naughty and nice list?), and he asked me to make them honorary elves to help spread holiday cheer through random acts of kindness. They were so excited to be part of the magic of spreading kindness! We discussed what elves do, and we generated some ideas about how we can spread kindness in our own school community. We also discussed that the elves and Santa work hard to stay unnoticed when they are giving gifts or spreading kindness. They don’t say, “Hey! Look at me! I’m doing something kind, so you should say thank you or do something kind for me!” They don’t give so that they will get something back; they just want to spread kindness, so that is what we should do too.
Next I started a countdown to winter break by putting a random act of kindness inside a sealed envelope for each day until winter break. We open one each day and pick a few students to complete the act of kindness. They usually complete their act of kindness during recess, and being sneaky so no one knows who is doing it is a bonus! They love being sneaky! Here are some examples of the acts of kindness we are doing:
We are hoping our acts of kindness will spread throughout the school, which is why we are leaving a note that says, “You’ve been elfed! Pass it on . . .” It has been a big hit so far, and students are taking initiative to spread their own random acts of kindness at school, at home–everywhere!
If your students could use a little motivation to get in the spirit of giving, you can pick up your own copy of “for the holidays” at my Teachers Notebook store by clicking here.
I also like to give small gifts to the people who work behind the scenes and keep our school and our classroom running, but I am on a tighter budget than usual this year (and I’m sure I’m not alone!). Thanks to the creative team at Paper Petals, I am giving unique, hand-made gifts for under $5 each!
For my tea-riffic parent helpers . . .
(tea bag included inside) $2.50 each
The royal treatment for our hardworking aides . . .
(soft fuzzy socks) $5 each
A little bit of sunshine for our wonderful secretaries . . .
(customized buckets holding pretty pens) $4 each
And a well deserved adult treat for our principal!
(bottle of wine not included–that was from a great groupon deal!) Gift tag only $2
I hope you are inspired “for the holidays . . .”