The last week in August is “Be Kind to Humankind” week and a perfect time to work on social skills with teens with special needs whether those kids are on the spectrum or deal with some other issue that makes reaching out a difficult skill for them. Learning to express kindness is an important adult living skill and can be key in whether students’ lives are enriched by relationships or spent isolated. So, how do we teach kindness?
How to Teach Kindness to Teens
Science tells us that empathy is hard-wired into all of us and kindness is a trait we are born with. However, like many human traits (like persistence, patience and calmness) kindness can be enhanced by awareness and practice.
This free lesson offers students a definition of kindness. It is followed by a social story that illustrates other students expressing kindness. And, it concludes with an activity that allows students to practice acts of kindness.
Read page 37. Discuss the “Golden Rule” and what that means to the students.
Follow-up with page 38. What choices could Anahi and Naomi made about the crown? Would any of those choices been “wrong”? Why or why not? What kinds of feelings do you think they had when Lilly was crowned?
After analyzing the story, have students discuss Discussion Questions.
Complete quiz on page 39.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Challenge students to complete their own acts of kindness over the next week and record their results on page 40. At the end of the week, share stories of those acts and discuss how students felt.
Follow up by creating a class goal for Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). Can the class achieve 100 RAK’s in the next month?
For More Information
For more work on character-building skills, see Building Character from the Daily Living Skills series. Like all books in the series, these are written on a 3rd/4th-grade level but nevertheless, honor a teen’s sensibility and maturity while meeting Indicator 13 skills and federally mandated transition services for teens with special needs. Go here.