Waves of Kindess

Make just one person happy each day and in forty years you will have made 14,600 people happy. For a little time, at least. ~Charles Willey

This lesson’s goal is for children to be able to define and apply the caring trait. Instructor will provide a visual, using the “Color of Care” activity. Instructor will read the book “How to Heal a Broken Wing.” Students will engage in activities, interact with one another, and recall information during the formative assessment taking place at the end of “Wave of Kindness.”

What does it mean to care for something or someone?

How can one demonstrate caring acts?

What is the difference between caring about something and being a caring person?

Materials: “How to Heal a Broken Wing” by Bob Graham, beach ball, two clear glasses, blue food coloring, and bleach

Lesson Plan

Anticipatory Set: Teacher will MODEL: The Color of Care Activity (5 minutes)

  1. kindnessTwo large glasses will be filled half way; one with water, one with bleach.
  2. Pour four drops of blue food coloring in the water glass,
  3. Explain that the blue water represents someone who is sad, hurt, and lonely on the inside. They are “feeling blue.”
  4. Explain when we care for someone who is sad, that can make a difference in their lives.
  5. Explain that the glass of bleach represents “caring.”
  6. Pour the bleach into the colored water.
  7. Explain by caring for others look at the difference we can make.
  8. Watch as the water slowly turns back to clear.
  9. Return to the water at the end of the discussion
  10. Watch [the video] at the top of the page

Discussion (8 minutes)

  1. Pair students up with someone from a different grade and different hair color.
  2. Once everyone has a partner, ask students to answer the following questions on a piece of paper: What does it mean to be caring?  What are things you care about? Who are people you care about? Where are places you care about? What would the world look like if caring acts didn’t exist? What are some ways we can demonstrate caring acts? Why is it important to be caring towards others?
  3. All partners come together in a circle and discuss the questions as a group. This is the chunk of the lesson. Get deep. Encourage them to open up.

Book Reading (10 minutes)how to heal a broken wing

  • “How to Heal A Broken Wing” by Bob Graham will be read by a 3rd, 4th, or 5th Grader
  • “How to Heal a Broken Wing” is about a boy who is walking with his mother in a busy city and suddenly notices an injured bird in the midst of chaos. Will and his mother nurse the bird back to health. This story shows that each living thing matters and that one person can make a difference in a life.

Post Book Reading: Wave of Kindness Activity

  1. Teacher explains that one of the nicest things about caring for others is that they’re likely going to be kind in return.
  2. Teacher encourages students to close their eyes and imagine yourself at the beach and you throw a beach ball as hard as you can in the ocean.
  3. The ball will return to you no matter how hard or far you threw it, the waves would bring the ball back to shore.
  4. Kind words and actions are the beach ball.
  5. As you toss out caring actions, before you know it someone else is doing something kind for you.
  6. Caring makes the world a better place for everyone.


downloadAfter explaining the analogy, take the beach ball and throw it to a student. That student must explain one thing they learned that day or a way to demonstrate a caring act and throw the ball back to the instructor. The instructor throws the beach ball to another students, the student answers, then returns the ball back to instructor. Instructor repeats this until everyone in the group has been asked one question.

Alignment with the Developmental Assets

  • Strengthens #26 Caring
  • Strengthens #33 Interpersonal Competence

Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes

This activity will help students understand empathy, identify ways to be more understanding toward others.

Essential Questions: 

What does it mean to put yourself in someone else’s shoes?

What kind of behaviors show that you understand someone’s feelings?

Materials: 4 – 6 pairs of shoes,  Poster Paper, Markers/ Crayons,

Empathy: The ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes / To identify with and understand another’s feelings.

Compassion: The desire to help with another’s problems or sufferings.

Empathy Poster
Empathy Poster


  1. Students volunteer to choose a pair of shoes to put on. Attached to the shoes are written scenarios. Based on the information given, the student has to “put themselves in that person’s shoes” and identify how that person might feel.
  2. The class then suggest ways we might show compassion to the person in the shoes.
  3. Explain: It is pretty easy to show empathy and compassion to those we like or love. The challenge is giving those gifts to everyone around us!
  4. Make: A Poster about Empathy

Extension Activity992a0f24744c549a0c26798748c3b468

  • The above activity can bridge to another topic of how others feel when we interrupt and blurt things out. Read “My Mouth Is A Volcano” by Julis Cook & come up with ideas that might help us not to “erupt” on someone.


  1. Mrs. Fields handed back Monday’s math test.
    Jacob said, “Finn, how did you do?”
    “I got a B,” Finn replied.
    “I got a perfect score!” Jacob told him. “My first A plus! I studied all weekend. I bet my mom will take me for ice cream to celebrate.”
    “Stop bragging, Jacob!” Finn yelled.
    How would you feel if you got a 100/A+ on a test that you studied really hard for? 
  2. Durrell threw a paper airplane at Mike. Mrs. Fields saw the paper airplane land on the floor in front of Mike’s desk. She thought Mike had thrown it. She made Mike clean the classroom before he could to go to recess.
    Durrell ran up to Mike at recess. He said, “I’m sorry I got you in trouble.”
    “Don’t talk to me, Durrell.”
    “I said I was sorry, Mike. Why are you being so mean to me?”
    How would you feel if you got in trouble for something your friend did?
  3. Mrs. Fields said to Tina, “Suri’s best friend moved yesterday. Why don’t you see if she wants to hang out at recess?” Tina agreed.
    “Suri, do you want to play a game?” Tina asked.
    Suri shrugged. “If you want to.”
    Tina set up the game while Suri watched. “Are you going to help?”
    “I guess so,” Suri said.
    “So what are you doing over break?” Tina asked.
    Suri replied, “I don’t know.”
    Tina rolled her eyes. “Are you always this boring?”
    How would you feel if your best friend moved away?
  4. “Hey, Meegan,” Valerie said. “Are you all packed for your trip?”
    “Yeeeees!” Meegan squealed as she hopped around her friend.
    “What is wrong with you?” Valerie asked.
    Meegan said, “Nothing!” But she kept hopping.
    Valerie started to walk away.
    “Where are you going?” Meegan asked between hops.
    “Come find me when you stop being weird,” Valerie told her.
    How would you feel if you were going on a fun vacation?
  5. It is your mother’s birthday, and you would like to get her some flowers, especially roses because they are her favorite. However, you do not have any money. Therefore, without permission, you pick some roses from a neighbor’s yard. The flowers make your mother extremely happy! She cannot stop talking about how beautiful they are and how wonderful you are for thinking of the “perfect birthday present” to give to her. Then, she asks how were you able to afford such beautiful  flowers with your small weekly allowance? Do you tell her how you got the roses? Why/why not?
  6. Tosi’s lunch money is missing. You saw Alfredo take the money out of Tosi’s jacket pocket. However, Alfredo has been your best friend for four years; you do everything and go everywhere together. Do you tell on your best friend? Why/why not?

Alignment with the Developmental Assets:

  • Builds #33 Interpersonal Competence

1.4 A Key to Being A Good Friend

This lesson starts with reading a friendship book. Need a book to read? Below is a list of friendship books. Check out your school library to see if any are available.

  • Angelo by David McCauley
  • Best Friends by Steven Kelloggfox
  • Being Friends by Karen Beaumont
  • Blabber Mouse by True Kelly
  • Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes
  • Don’t Need Friends by Carolyn Crimi
  • Duck & Goose by Tad Hill
  • Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
  • Fox Makes Friends by Adam Rolf
  • Friends by Helme Heine
  • Nacho and Lolita by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Nuggest and Darling by Barbara Joose
  • Something Else by Kathryn Cave
  • That’s What Friends Are For by Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Van Clief

keyAfter reading, hand out templates in the shape of keys. On the keys have everyone list qualities that are helpful in being a good friend.

Click photo for a good resource.

Alignment with the 40 Developmental Assets:

  • Encourages Reading for Pleasure(#25)
  • Improves Interpersonal Competence(33)
  • Identifies Positive Values(26-30)