Saturday Stories: Kindness in the Classroom

Your Weekend Reads in Education

Happy Saturday! Next week is the official kick-off of the Great Kindness Challenge, an event dedicated to teaching empathy and improving school climate. To celebrate, we’ve decided to dedicate this week’s Saturday Stories to strategies for promoting kindness in the classroom.

👉 If you don’t know about the Great Kindness Challenge, learn more here:

You’ll find some of the best strategies for promoting kindness in the classroom by checking out the social media posts from our recent Twitter Chat, the #KindClassroomsChat. Teachers from across the country shared their best ideas, activities, and lessons for fostering kindness and empathy. Check out their tweets here.

Below, you’ll find a collection of resources around kindness and empathy, including full webinar recordings with speakers from a variety of organizations, a full guide from our Applied Learning Sciences team about social-emotional learning, and age-specific activities for practicing kindness and empathy →

5 Guiding Principles of Social-Emotional Learning

By the McGraw-Hill Education Applied Learning Sciences Team

“Sample strategy: Explicitly teach protocols and procedures for handling challenging social situations. Recognize that time spent on topics such as conflict resolution counts as a “teachable moment” just as time spent on academic content.”

4 Ways to Embrace Kindness in Middle and High School

“Just as we suggested reading as a tool to nurture empathy in elementary school classrooms, reading can serve as a powerful tool in middle and high school classrooms — perhaps even more so, because teens have the cognitive abilities to do a deep, thoughtful analysis of the role that kindness plays in the novels.”

4 Activities to Embrace Kindness in Elementary School

“If you have the opportunity to send your students out into the world to spread their compassion, then go for it! But this can be hard with little ones. So if that’s not an option, then focus on community service practice within the school as a mini-community.”

3 Ways to Teach Kindness and Empathy

“In the webinar, Milena Batanova from Making Caring Common opened by giving attendees an overview of the 5 core competencies of social-emotional learning, which include skills like “social awareness” and “self-management”. Then, Milena went into the benefits of social-emotional learning, citing research around increased standardized test scores and reductions in emotional distress or behavioral problems.”

Kindness as a Practice in the K-12 Classroom

“This webinar is packed full of websites that will lead you to resources, real-life examples, and takeaways to use in the classroom. For example, Kids for Peace offers a “kindness checklist” to all educators who sign up to participate in The Great Kindness Challenge, and World’s Largest Lesson offers animated videos and lesson plans. (Some of the World’s Largest Lesson resources are even available in multiple languages!)”

For more on kindness in the classroom, visit: