There is something special about the holiday spirit that just lends itself naturally to teaching our little ones about kindness. While I think this is something that should be taught all year, the holiday season makes it easier. It also is a stressful time of year for parents, co-workers, and everyone. It can be a tough season for some. Extra kindness is simply needed.
Several years ago I came across this book called First Grade Elves by Joanne Ryder. I read it to my very first first grade class and we all set out to spread kindness in our classroom. The book begins with classmates sharing holiday traditions they have at home. One shares that they have secret elves in their family and they do kind things for each other.
The students decide they want to have secrete elves in their classroom. They draw names and each time they do something nice for their person, they leave a snowflake behind so they know an elf came along. One found someone’s lost mitten, another made a picture for someone, and another shared some stickers with someone. They all do kind deeds for each other! They were each a kindness elf in the classroom.
In our classroom, we drew names and then I gave each child a cutout snowflake. When they did something kind for their person, they left them a snowflake. The snowflakes eventually just all got passed around as the kind deeds continued. They have SO much fun being sweet and thoughtful towards their classmates!
As years went on, the ever popular Elf on the Shelf came along. When this happened, I knew it was the perfect thing to combine the too. This is when our kindness elf in the classroom was born!
I didn’t go out and buy a thing. I used a stuffed elf that my mom had saved for years. I began by reading the book to my students. Then the next day, he showed up! We named him Eddie and then each day he brought us a note telling us how we could be kind to someone in our class, our school, or our home that day. Each day we had a kindness mission to complete. Here is a simple sheet that you can use to grab some “kindness missions” for your classroom of elves to complete! CLICK HERE to grab it!
Do you do a classroom elf? I’d love to hear what you do and how wonderful it is for your classroom and school community! If not, grab an elf HERE on Amazon, my calendar above, and spread some holiday cheer with a kindness elf in the classroom!
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Hi, I'm Amanda
I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers. Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!