Friday, June 15, 2012

School Counselor Spotlight: Kindness Garden

I love bright and colorful things that make an impact, so needless to say I instantly fell in love with Emily's School Counselor Spotlight submission as soon as I saw the pictures! Emily shares a fun and easy way to make a Kindness Garden for No-Name Calling Week or Random Acts of Kindness Week.


Emily wrote:

During Random Acts of Kindness/No Name Calling week, I did a different lesson on kindness in each grade level. To tie it all together, each student was given an opportunity to decorate a flower for our "kindness garden," which was displayed directly outside of the cafeteria entrance.

Each flower needed to contain either an example of a kindness that they have seen or done, or a wish/dream/idea for spreading kindness throughout the school. When stapling the flowers to the bulletin board, I scattered the different grade levels so that students would need to explore the garden and read different flowers in order to find their own.

Students loved this activity because they:
  • could be expressive artistically
  • were able to see their flower every day and show their friends, favorite staff members, etc. 
  • could celebrate the ways in which they showed kindness 
  • focused on kindness and positivity in their lives 

Teachers and Staff loved this activity because they:
  • could reference the Kindness Garden when they saw students being unkind, especially in the hall by the cafeteria 
  • were able to use the bulletin board to help students brainstorm fix-its, or ways to help undo unkind behavior (in addition to an apology) 
  • loved the colorful spring theme (I did this activity during the cold Wisconsin winter).

Emily 
Elementary School Counselor
West Side Elementary, Wisconsin

Check out the pictures of Emily's Kindness Garden!


 Emily printed flower templates on white paper.
(I created a printable PDF file with two flower templates: Kindness Garden Flowers .
You can also google "flower template" to find more templates for personal use.)

Students decorated the flower templates using crayons and markers. 

Each flower had to contain an example of kindness or a way to spread kindness at the school.

  • As I said before, the bright colors immediately caught my eye! 
  • I love that this idea showcases students work while getting a message across! I am sure students loved to look at this display and show everyone which flower they made! 
  • The placement of the display was ideal. Students, teachers, and staff were all able to access the display and use it for learning opportunities. 
  • Emily scattered the flowers so students would have to read other flowers to find theirs! BRILLIANT! 
  • Students felt a sense of ownership because they created the display together and came up with solutions to make their school a better and kinder place! 
  • Emily used this activity as a culminating activity for other kindness lessons she facilitated. This is a great visual way to show others what students learned from your lessons! 
  • This could be used for many different times of the year... No Name Calling Week, Random Acts of Kindness Week, Bully Free Month, etc.  The possibilities are endless.
Thank you Emily for sharing your Kindness Garden with us! I am sure many school counselors out there will be making Kindness Gardens of their own next school year!

What is your favorite thing about Emily's Kindness Garden? How would you use the Kindness Garden at your school? What time of the year would you display the Kindness Garden (Bully Free Week, Random Acts of Kindness Week, No Name Calling Week, etc...)?


Do you have an innovative idea, creative lesson, or quality resource you want to share with other school counselors? Have you done something to make a positive impact on your students, your school, and yourself? School Counselor Spotlight is a way for you to share your innovative ideas, creative lessons, and quality resources with School Counselor Blog readers!

Send your stories, ideas, creative lessons, and/or resources to danielle@schcounselor.com with School Counselor Spotlight in the subject line. Please include a description of the idea, lesson, or resource, including costs, inspiration, pictures and how it impacted your students or school!
**Photos must be of good quality and unedited.** 

Chosen ideas and stories will be featured in the School Counselor Spotlight on School Counselor Blog!

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Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources. Connect with Danielle via emailTwitterPinterestLinkedInGoogle+, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.

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