A classroom is a place for learning however, it should also be a place that prioritises and teaches the importance of emotional wellbeing. Here are 10 ways you can create a happy and giving environment within the classroom either remotely or in person.
This may seem super simple but just as effective. By simply asking a fellow peer or teacher how they are doing, it lets them know there is someone who cares about them and interested in their own wellbeing.
This can be a collective or individual activity. Essentially, this would entail having a tree with empty branches that students would fill with leaves. On these leaves, they would have written one thing they are grateful for, it could be anything from being grateful for a sunny day to getting to school on time. This will help them reflect and express their gratitude towards the life they have.
Once a week, get your students to write a thank you note to public service workers such as school cleaners, bus drivers, nurses, doctors, etc. This is a great way to show our support and gratitude for their service during the pandemic.
Set up a box in the classroom to get students to bring in their unused clothes that they can donate to their local shelter. This can help other kids who may be in need of some new clothes during these difficult times. If you are not back at school, designate a drop point for clothes and do a drive by donation day.
One thing you can do is have a day is to ask each student to bring in one of their favourite books and trade their books with their fellow peers. This is a creative way to teach kids how to share while also getting to know what kind of books their peers are reading.
A way to promote self-love and being kind to oneself is to practice self-appreciation through a simple exercise. This can be a verbal or written activity in which students go around saying or writing down one thing they did great that day. This can be as simple as cleaning up after oneself, the point of the exercise is to allow students to focus on what they are doing well.
Dedicate a portion of the day to read stories from authors of various cultural backgrounds and allowing students to share their own cultural traditions. This is an activity that helps promote cultural diversity while also allows students to get to know the culture of their peers.
The kindness bingo is a great way to help students consider the small gives they could be doing while intertwining with the game of bingo. This is a wonderful way to keep students engaged and interested in completing the random acts of kindness to get bingo! PBS has an explanation of the game and kindness bingo cards for download, so check it out.
Another way to give back to the community could be holding a donation drive within the classroom or at a drop off point to encourage students to bring in their unused toys and donate them to a children’s shelter.
Another challenge you could give your students is by joining The 365give Challenge! This a wonderful way to continue creating a habit of making small gives on the daily which can help to brighten someone’s day and make yours brighter too!
These activities however are not limited to the classroom and can be done anytime! For more information and suggestions on how you can give back check out 365give and start giving as a classroom or school.