As an elementary school teacher, one of the most important lessons you can teach your students is the value of kindness. In a world that can sometimes be harsh and unforgiving, teaching our young children to be kind to others is more important than ever.

Books For Discussing Kindness in the Classroom

One of the best ways to teach kindness in the classroom is through the use of books. There are countless books available that focus on the theme of kindness, and reading them with your students can be a great way to spark discussions and help them understand the concept. 

Have You Filled a Bucket Today book kindness in the classroom

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

This book teaches children about the concept of an “invisible bucket” that everyone has, and how kind actions can fill someone’s bucket and make them feel happy.

The Kindness Book

This book uses simple, colorful illustrations and easy-to-understand language to explain what kindness is and how it can make a difference in the world.

The Kindness Book kindness in the classroom

Berenstain Bears Golden Rule book kindness in the classroom

The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule

In this book, the Berenstain Bears learn about the Golden Rule and how treating others the way you want to be treated can make everyone happier.

Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

This book tells the story of Gilbert the skunk, who learns about the importance of being kind to others even when they’re not very nice to you.

Roses Are Pink book kindness in the classroom

The Giving Tree book kindness in the classroom

The Giving Tree

This classic book tells the story of a tree that loves a little boy and is always willing to give him what he needs, even if it means sacrificing its own happiness.

In addition to reading books, it’s also important to provide opportunities for students to practice kindness in their everyday interactions. This can be as simple as encouraging them to share their materials during center work, asking a classmate to play with them at recess, or simply offering a comforting word to a friend who is feeling upset.

Modeling Kindness in the Classroom

Just like many skills we teach our students, another effective way to teach kindness is to model it yourself. As the teacher, you are a role model for your students, and they will take cues from your behavior. While you likely already are kind to everyone you interact with in the classroom, whether it’s a student, a parent, or a fellow teacher, as your students are learning about kindness, really emphasize these behaviors. This will help your students understand that kindness is something that is important and valued.

Recognizing Acts of Kindness in the Classroom

Finally, it’s important to recognize and reward acts of kindness when you see them. This can be as simple as giving a student a sticker or a small prize for being kind to someone else. By recognizing and rewarding kindness, you can help reinforce the idea that it is a valuable trait and encourage your students to continue showing it. While I do recognize we want our students to be intrinsically motivated to be kind, sometimes we must start with extrinsic rewards for students to develop the desired habit.

Teaching kindness in the classroom is an essential part of preparing our young children for a successful and fulfilling life. By incorporating books, modeling kindness, and providing opportunities for students to practice and be recognized for their kind actions, we can help them develop into compassionate and empathetic individuals.

Let us know in the comments how you encourage kindness in your classroom or share any other books you love to use for teaching kindness!

Creation Castle Transparent
Creation Castle

Heather is the author of Creation Castle. She has experience with general education, special education, and ESL students in kindergarten through fifth grade. She specializes in early elementary math and literacy, as well as organization.