KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM®
LESSON PLANS

Don't expect kindness in schools—teach it!

Download our FREE K-8 lesson plans, lead a kindness project or form a kindness club at your school. Our curriculum features developmentally appropriate, standards-aligned lessons that teach kids important Social Emotional (SEL) skills.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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UNIT 1

Caring
For Others

Caring for others

Students will learn to show respect and care to others.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Kindness Song
  • Lesson 2: Kindness Bingo
  • Lesson 3: How Full Is Your Bucket?
  • Lesson 4a: Filling Buckets
  • Lesson 4b: Kindness Bucket Book
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 2

Creating a
Kind Classroom

Creating a kind classroom

Students will learn about personal space and boundaries.

UNIT 3

Feelings
and Behavior

Feelings and behavior

Students will learn that feelings influence behavior.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: I Feel
  • Lesson 2: Acting With Our Feelings
  • Lesson 3: Feelings Book
  • Lesson 4: Counting Our Feelings
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 4

Following
the Rules

Following the rules

Students will learn why classroom rules are needed.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

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UNIT 1

Feelings
and Actions

Feelings and actions

Students will learn a variety of emotions and identify appropriate ways to express them.

UNIT 2

Good
Manners

Good manners

Students will learn that using good manners when speaking is a way to be kind.

UNIT 3

Learning
to Listen

Learning to listen

Students will learn effective listening skills as a way to show kindness.

UNIT 4

Learning to
Solve Problems

Learning to solve problems

Students will learn problem-solving strategies and how to make kind choices using those strategies.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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UNIT 1

How Can I
Be Kind?

How can i be kind

Students will learn what it means to be kind and how to apply kindness skills at home and school.

UNIT 2

How Can We
Be Kind

How can we be kind

Students will learn that there are kind and respectful ways to play and work together.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Moving Forward
  • Lesson 2: The Quiltmaker's Gift
  • Lesson 3: Pennies With A Purpose
  • Lesson 4: Pennies With A Purpose Math Extension
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 3

It Takes
One

It takes one

Students will examine what respectful behavior looks and feels like in themselves and others.

UNIT 4

Keep
Trying

Keep trying

Students will learn how to stay positive and control their emotions so they can keep trying.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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UNIT 1

Communicating
with Empathy

Communicating with empathy

This unit builds students’ abilities to put empathy into action and offer kind things to say.

UNIT 2

Complimenting
Others

Complimenting others

Complimenting others allows students to practice acknowledging and valuing everyone for who they are.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Who Am I?
  • Lesson 2: Who Are You?
  • Lesson 3: Genuine Compliments
  • Lesson 4: Creative Compliment Cards
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 3

Feelings and
Emotions

Feelings and emotions

Students will learn how to identify, label and express their emotions in kind and healthy ways.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Feelings Game
  • Lesson 2: How Did I Feel?
  • Lesson 3: Ways To Respond
  • Lesson 4: Go Feelings
  • Optional Lesson: How Do They Feel?
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 4

How I Treat Myself
and Others Matters

How i treat myself and others matters

Students will learn to manage differences & interact with peers in safe and respectful ways.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Time Out!
  • Lesson 2: Respecting Differences
  • Lesson 3: Respecting Other People's Ideas
  • Lesson 4: Treating Myself with Kindness
  • Optional Lesson: Caring for our World
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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UNIT 1


Friendship

Friendship

Students learn what true friendship is, and how to make and be a good friend.

UNIT 2

Respecting Beliefs
& Opinions

Respecting beliefs and opinions

Students will learn the difference between beliefs and opinions & how to be respectful of each.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Freeze!
  • Lesson 2: Understanding Beliefs and Values
  • Lesson 3: Debating An Issue
  • Lesson 4: History Lesson: World Changers Project
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 3

Stress
Busters

Stress busters

Students learn to identify and manage emotions induced by stressors.

UNIT 4

What Would
You Do?

What would you do

Students learn to make responsible choices and treat others with kindness in their communities.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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UNIT 1

Healthy
Communication

Healthy communication

Students learn to identify peer pressure and develop skills to make the right choices.

UNIT 2

Honesty and
Integrity

Honesty and integrity

Students will learn how to respond to various social situations with honesty and integrity.

UNIT 3

Taking Care
of Ourselves

Taking care of ourselves

Students will learn to show empathy and respect for others in various social situations.

UNIT 4

What
Influences Us?

What influences us

Students will learn to recognize who and what influences their behavior & learn to make positive choices.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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UNIT 1

Becoming an
Upstander

Becoming an upstander

Students will understand the consequences of violent and bullying behaviors and how to respond as an upstander.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: What Is Bullying?
  • Lesson 2: Becoming an Upstander Means Taking Risks
  • Lesson 3: Consequences of Violence and Bullying
  • Lesson 4: Cyber Bullying Role Plays
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 2

Being Kind
to Ourselves

Being kind to ourselves

Students will learn to be aware of their emotions how to be kind to themselves.

UNIT 3

Resolving Conflicts
Peacefully

Resolving conflicts peacefully

Students will learn to resolve conflicts in respectful and kind ways.

UNIT 4

Responding with
Kindness

Responding with kindness

Students will learn to effectively use mental and emotional processes to help them succeed in kind ways.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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UNIT 1

Active
Listening

Active listening

Students will learn to consciously listen in order to check assumptions, change attitudes and show respect for others.

UNIT 2

Communicating
Effectively

Communicating effectively

Students will learn to express personal needs in effective ways while showing empathy to build positive, healthy relationships.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Speaking Skills
  • Lesson 2: Negotiation Skills
  • Lesson 3: I Messages
  • Lesson 4: Showing Gratitude
  • Optional Lesson: Government Conflicts and Collaboration Research Project
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 3

Coping with
Stress

Coping with stress

Students will learn how stress affects them and effective methods for coping with stress.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Stressed Out
  • Lesson 2: Personal Stressors
  • Lesson 3: Reducing Your Stress
  • Lesson 4: Care vs. 'Over' Care Activity
  • Research Project: Coping With Stress
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 4

Understanding
Each Other

Understanding each other

Students will learn how to show compassion & understanding for others’ challenges.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: The 'R' Word
  • Lesson 2: Respect Mobiles
  • Lesson 3: Kindness in the News
  • Lesson 4: Immigration
  • Optional Lesson: Multicultural Book Report
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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UNIT 1

Choosing
Kindness

Choosing kindness

Students will learn to recognize bullying and understand what they can do about.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: What Is Bullying?
  • Lesson 2: Becoming an Upstander!
  • Lesson 3: Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes
  • Lesson 4: Creating a Kind Community at School
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 2


I Am

I am

Students will learn about identity and how their perceptions of self are influenced.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Identity
  • Lesson 2: Identity Round Robin
  • Lesson 3: I Am Poems
  • Lesson 4: Messages in the Media
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 3

Peer
Pressure

Peer pressure

Students will learn how to identify negative peer pressure ways to safely avoid it.

  • Unit Introduction
  • Lesson 1: Egg and Bottle
  • Lesson 2: Peer Pressure
  • Lesson 3: Ways To Respond To Peer Pressure
  • Lesson 4: Real Time Response
  • Optional Lesson: Facing Tough Situations Book Report
  • Optional Lesson: Standing Up For The Rights of Others Research Project
  • Standards Key
  • Spanish Unit
  • Implementation Model
  • Required Materials List

UNIT 4


Self-Esteem

Self esteem

Students will analyze internal factors that contribute to mental and emotional health.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

Please download the introduction & first lessons from each unit as a sample to see if our materials will meet your needs. If you'd like to download the other lessons, please create an account or sign in. Our lesson plans are 100% free.

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FOUNDATION STAGE - YEAR SIX

UK Lesson Plans

Rak in the uk

Download our FREE lesson plans made especially for educators in the UK. They cover foundation stage through year 6 and teach important social emotional skills and kindness concepts.

FREE Training Materials

Comprehensive training materials to quickly get you & your whole school ready to teach kindness to your kids. View Training Materials

Additional Educator Resources

Various resources to help ensure your success teaching kindness to your kids.

NEW TO KINDNESS IN THE CLASSROOM?

If you'd like to download these additional resources, please create an account or sign in. Our materials are 100% free.

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Classroom tools

Culture and Climate Tools

A set of tools to help you successfully implement Kindness in the Classroom®.

  • Focusing Strategies
  • Building Trust
  • Problem Solving Strategies
  • Resolving Conflicts
  • Lesson Exploration
  • Kindness Concepts
  • Kindness Concepts (Spanish)
  • Kindness in the Classroom Overview for Parents
  • A Sample Letter to Parents
  • Creating Kind Schools
Diverse learners

For Diverse Learners

A few useful tools to help you teach kindness skills to everyone in your classroom.

  • Collaborative Learning
  • MTSS and RAK Guide
Out of school

Out of School Program

Lessons and activities to inspire and empower kids who are in after / out of school programs.

  • Download RAK 4 Kids
High school

High School Lessons

Help high school students care for themselves by becoming aware of and managing their emotions.

  • Download Unit
  • Program Overview
  • Teacher Self-Assessment
  • Student Self-Assessment
Kindness posters

Kindness Posters

Print out and display the kindness concepts that are taught in each lesson.

Projects new

Kindness Projects

A list of fun kindness projects appropriate for various grade levels.

Hoola hoop game

Fun Games & Books

Kindness-themed games you can play with your group & a good list of books to inspire kindness.

Kindness clubs

Start A Kindness Club

Check this download for tips on how to get started creating your own kindness club.

YES! IT REALLY WORKS!

It's conclusive: Teaching kindness really does make a difference.

We think our curriculum is pretty great—but of course, we would. Thankfully, you don’t have to take our word for it. We commissioned several independent researchers to study and test our curriculum.

According to their findings, teachers using our curriculum report feeling more connected to their students, seeing more kindness in their classrooms, halls and on the playgrounds, and noticing their students demonstrating more empathic, caring traits.

That’s great news, but it doesn’t stop there. The teachers also noted improved trust, fewer referrals to the office, more respect between students, and a generally more positive school and classroom culture!

To understand why social-emotional learning is so important, read this Teaching the Whole Child brief created by the Center on Great Teachers & Leaders at American Institutes for Research. It also includes good information on practical ways schools & districts can incorporate social-emotional learning programs into their schools.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation commissioned several independent studies & reports which you are welcome to download and read for yourself.

Report 1 Report 2 Report 3

What educators & students are saying about our materials:

I'm so tired of my students being disconnected to each other, to their teachers, to their families. Today we had a student expelled for using the n-word. When I discussed the incident with my class, they said that they hear that EVERY DAY! I was shocked. I want to make a change in my school. I want them to look up from their phones, connect to other people, and be kind.

Educator

Students and teachers at my school can always include and receive more kindness in their lives and I want to help them do that.

Educator

I believe the next generation of children and even adults need to be reminded that there is goodness in the world, especially with all the tragedy. I am a school counselor and would like to bring more RAK ideas to my campus.

Educator

Working in all girls' boarding I am increasingly concerned that social media and pressures young girls are facing day to day are having a huge impact on heir ability to form healthy relationships. I am hoping that by introducing [Kindness in the Classroom] to the boarding house, girls will begin to be more outward looking at their behaviour and try to overcome the difficulties they face as an age group.

Educator

I want to be a better example to my family, especially my 13-year old daughter, of how to spread kindness and peace in our lives.

Educator

I want to teach and lead by example kindness for my students.

Educator

As a school counselor, I have noticed the change in our middle school students through the years. We have more conflict among students and hurtful words thrown out without a thought as to the damage inflicted on others. I would like to spark a change in our students.

Educator

I learned that you can always be kind to somebody. There is always time.

4th Grade Student

These lessons were easy to teach and well organized. Thanks for offering them for free!

Middle School Teacher in Colorado

OUR APPROACH

Students bring their own level of experience to any concept that is taught in the classroom, including kindness. Enter: Universal Design for Learning (UDL), the theoretical underpinning for our curriculum. UDL provides a flexible approach that can be customized for individual needs and meet students where they are. Combine that with activities that inspire students to actively engage in learning our 12 Kindness Concepts, and you've got yourself a happy classroom.

WHY TEACHING KINDNESS MATTERS

Reading. Writing. Arithmetic. They’re the so-called ‘three Rs’ – and they’re supposed to be the key to the success of our kids. But what about the skills that really matter? The skills that will help when things get tough?

What about the ability to communicate your feelings and needs? To really listen to others? To keep your emotions in check, and understand other points of view that you may not agree with? To empathize with people who are different?

We believe these skills—all linked to kindness—are just as important as academic skills.

We’re on a mission to strengthen students, classrooms and families—and society through kindness. We believe kindness is an innate, natural quality of the heart, present in every person (even if it’s not always nurtured).

SEL AND KINDNESS

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is objectively and measurably beneficial for kids. But what does SEL have to do with kindness? We're so glad you asked!

Our Kindness in the Classroom® program was created to integrate intentional kindness skill building instruction with the development of social and emotional competencies.

When you read the research about the benefits of kindness, it sounds great. But, trust us—nothing compares to seeing and experiencing these changes for yourself.



Our lessons include 12 kindness concepts which, when used consistently, provide students a scaffold to build the necessary skills to move from self-awareness to action.

 When you see that ‘action’ in action, you’ll be amazed. We promise.

According to a CASEL (the Collaborative for Academic and Social and Emotional Learning) study, 93% of teachers believe it’s important to teach SEL—and 95% of them believe it can be taught.

Their confidence was well founded—because they found that teachers who included SEL programs in their instruction saw an 11-17% increase in the academic scores of their students.

Let’s pause on that for a second: spending 45 minutes a week on integrating SEL into the classroom could potentially raise your kids’ scores by a full letter grade!




Kindness paradigm five things

THE KINDNESS FRAMEWORK

There's a lot to read about kindness here on our website. But one of the most beautiful things about kindness is its ease and simplicity. That's reflected in our "Kindness Framework", which is what we call the simple, five-step cycle that we follow in each of our lesson plans. Here's how it works:

STEP 1 - INSPIRE
Whether its through video, role-play, books, games, or another hands-on activity, each kindness lesson is designed to inspire students. That way, teachers aren't just informing—they're using their imaginations and applying their natural ingenuity.

STEP 2 - EMPOWER
Inspiration is good—but it doesn't become transformative until students are given the tools that will let them act on that inspiration. With that in mind, the next step is for teachers to lead the class through discussions designed to empower students to find ways to be kind in their daily lives.

STEP 3 - ACT
You might be able to guess what's coming next. Once students have the ideas and the tools to act on those ideas, the next step (of course) is help students put those ideas into action. It might be a research project, it might be community service, it might be something else entirely—but regardless of the form, the program will have students bringing real, tangible kindness into the world.

STEP 4 - REFLECT
At this point, students will have experienced how great it feels to perform acts of kindness. And what does everyone want to do after doing something cool (besides ‘do it again')? Talk about it, of course! At the end of each lesson teachers guide students to reflect on what they've just experienced and learned & identify how doing kindness effects their own lives and the lives of those around them.

STEP 5 - SHARE
Each of our lessons & activities encourages students to share what they've learned with others. These take-home activities includes everything from simply telling their parents / caregivers what they've learned, playing the games at home with their siblings, drawing illustrations in a kindness journal to full-blown ‘walls of kindness' projects to inspire their communities. This reinforces what they've learned and experienced, helps others to experience it and makes it far more likely that they'll begin the kindness cycle again themselves.