Every Little Counts
Kindness is important
by Philippa Rae
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the value of kindness and how it affects other people.
Preparation and materials
You will need the illustrated story of ‘The Lion and the Mouse’ from Aesop’s Fables, or you can use the adapted version that is shown in the assembly below.
You may wish to familiarize yourself with the parable of the good Samaritan, which you can find in the Bible (Luke 10.25-37).
Optional: you may wish to have a dictionary available for the children to look up definitions of the words in the ‘Assembly’, Step 6.
Ask the children the meaning of the word ‘kindness’. Ask them if anyone has been kind to them lately.
Listen to a range of responses.
Ask if any of the children have done something kind for other people recently. Ask what sort of things they could do that would be kind.
Point out that the opposite of being ‘kind’ is being ‘unkind’. For example, being unkind could mean saying harsh words to someone else, laughing at someone if they get questions wrong in class or leaving people out at playtime.
Being unkind doesn’t necessarily mean that what you are saying is incorrect. It can sometimes be the way in which we say something that hurts people. It is possible to be truthful and be kind.
Remind the children that sometimes we don’t realize that what appears to be unimportant to us is actually very important to someone else. There is a saying, ‘Every little counts’. Sometimes, something little means a lot to the person receiving it. It might make their day!
There is another saying, ‘Charity begins at home’. This means that, although it is great to do good things to help those in the wider community, such as raising money for charity and so on, we mustn’t forget that the way we treat those closest to us is also very important.
There are many ways in which we can be kind. Here are just a few examples:
- being friendly and helpful.
- putting away our toys or our clothes.
- making sure that we don’t leave anyone out of games during playtime.
- holding the door open for someone.
- speaking politely.
- showing respect.
Ask the children to add other ways of showing kindness to the list.
Ask the children if they can think of any other words that relate to kindness. For example, consideration, sympathy, empathy and so on.
Ask the children to explain the meaning of these words. You may wish to ask the children to look up the definitions in the dictionary.
The story of ‘The Lion and the Mouse’ was written by a man called Aesop. He wrote lots of stories, which became known as Aesop’s fables. Many of the characters in Aesop’s fables were animals, and the stories teach strong morals.
This is a retelling of the fable, ‘The Lion and the Mouse’.
Lion was a huge animal with big, sharp teeth. Many animals were afraid of him. He was fierce and he had a very loud, frightening roar.
One day, he was fast asleep when a little mouse ran across his face.
With a start, Lion woke up. He was angry and caught the mouse with one scoop of his enormous paw.
‘Spare me,’ cried Mouse. ‘Please don’t kill me. One day, I may be able to repay you.’
Lion laughed. How could a little mouse possibly help him? After all, he was king of the jungle. However, Lion let the mouse go.
Some time later, Lion was out in the jungle when SNAP! He was caught in a hunter’s ropes. How the mighty creature roared and roared!
The little mouse heard him and came to his rescue. She gnawed and gnawed at the ropes until they fell apart and Lion was freed.
‘You laughed when I said that one day, I would repay you,’ said Mouse. ‘But now you can see that even a mouse can help a lion.’
In this fable, Lion was kind to Mouse. For him, it was nothing that a big, fierce lion should spare a tiny, helpless creature such as a mouse. But that small action ended up saving Lion’s life! This story doesn’t mean that we should just be kind to people to get something back. It means that we never know what difference being kind to someone can make to their life and also to our own life. How we react to others is important. Being kind to others improves relationships with those around us. Also, being kind to people can make us feel good on the inside, too!
- You may wish to remind the children about the parable of the good Samaritan, which is found in the Bible in Luke 10.25-37.
Time for reflection
Sometimes, it is easy to forget to be kind. Being kind means thinking about someone else and being willing to put their needs first.
Think about the ways in which people are kind to you.
Pause for thought.
How did you feel when someone was kind?
How can you show kindness to someone today?
Please help me to be kind towards others.
Please help me to be helpful, considerate and sympathetic.
Even at difficult times, when I’m busy or tired, help me to respond to others in the way that I would like to be treated.
‘Bridge over troubled water’ by Simon & Garfunkel