Kindness: a Week of Random Acts for Fifth Graders

Often times, I have these random ideas that explode into a huge "thing". This post shares my small, random idea that turned into one of the best weeks of my teaching career so far. That particular year, I had a really great class. I also had 36 students! When doing my lesson plans, I planned to use a few passages about police officers for our weekly reading skill of summarizing. I thought that it would be great to read these passages and work to create a thank you basket for our local police officers as a type of service learning project.

When I went to the grocery store that Sunday afternoon, I thought that it would be fun to give them a little gift as a way to surprise them. Then, it was like the ideas just flowed. I could "pay it forward" by giving them a little something special, and they could do the same to someone else. 

After receiving their little gift, we all wrote little inspirational messages to the fourth graders and slipped them into their lockers while they were at special. 

We also wrote notes for previous teachers and let them on their desks! We did similar tasks for our custodians, cooks, specials teachers, administration, and office staff.

We also began planning something special for our local police officers, which was the original spark of inspiration I had.

They calculated what we would need, how much it would cost, and began deciding who would purchase each item or donate money. They also contacted local businesses to get donations. 

We delivered our baskets on Friday. But, the BEST part is what happened AFTER we delivered our baskets and really showed my students how kindness comes full circle. Our local police station is within walking distance of both our school and a local restaurant that serves milkshakes. Our plan was to deliver our baskets and walk to the restaurant for milkshakes. Each student had brought in money ahead of time. It was the perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon. 

When we arrived, a kind older gentleman bought all of our milkshakes! It was well over $100, and he paid for all of it. He didn't know that we just finishing up our act of kindness. He didn't know that we spent the entire week doing kind deeds around our school. It was the perfect lesson for my students to pay it forward. 

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