Colour the School with Kindness
Kindness can make a difference
by Alexandra Palmer
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the importance of being kind and the difference that kindness can make to people’s lives.
Preparation and materials
- Have available the YouTube video ‘Color Your World With Kindness’ and the means to show it during the assembly. The video begins in monochrome, but every time someone is kind, colour appears. The video is 2.13 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwelE8yyY0U
- Have available the printed words found at Helpful words and the means to display them during the assembly. The pairs of words can be printed double-sided so that you turn over to see the corresponding antonym. In each pair, the negative word is in grey and the positive word is in colour.
- Ask the children what they think the words ‘kind’ or ‘kindness’ mean. Responses might include being nice to someone, helping a friend out and sharing with a friend.
- Introduce the ‘Colour Your World With Kindness’ video and explain that it is all about kindness. At first, everything is grey, but every time someone is kind, colour appears.
Show the ‘Color Your World With Kindness’ video.
- Repeat the words that appear near the end of the video: ‘When we share acts of kindness, we colour our world.’
Explain that, by being kind, we make our world a nicer place to live. It makes people feel happier and it encourages more people to be kind.
- Repeat the words that appear next: ‘Here’s your canvas!’
Ask the children what a canvas is. Explain that artists use canvases to paint on. The video is suggesting that we all have a canvas to paint on, and this canvas is every day of our lives. We can write on the canvas with good or bad things. Our canvas can be full of colourful acts of kindness. We can colour the school with kindness.
- Ask seven children to move to the front and hold up the printed words so that the grey words are facing the audience.
Explain each word in turn, asking the children to make suggestions as to what each word means. After the grey word has been discussed, ask what the opposite would be and then ask each of the seven children to turn the sheet over to reveal the colourful word on the other side. By the end, there should be seven colourful words facing the audience.
You may wish to use the suggested explanations for the words below, using examples relevant to the school.
- Mean/Kind. The first grey word is ‘mean’. Can you imagine what school would be like if everyone was mean? It would be a horrible place because we’d be constantly falling out with our friends. When the word is turned over, we can see that the opposite of ‘mean’ is ‘kind’. If everyone was being kind, teachers wouldn’t have to sort out any friendship problems.
- Unhelpful/Helpful. The next grey word is ‘unhelpful’. If everyone was being unhelpful, teachers would find it difficult to teach and we would find it difficult to learn. However, when we turn the word over, we can see Little Miss Helpful. Teachers love it when children are being helpful, whether it’s by handing out books and whiteboards or by tidying up the classroom.
- Selfish/Sharing. The word ‘selfish’ describes people who think about themselves all the time rather than thinking about their friends and how they’re feeling. For example, we might keep all the toys to ourselves during playtime. The opposite of ‘selfish’ is ‘sharing’. We’ll always find that playtimes are happier when we share toys because we can have more fun with our friends.
- Lying/Honesty. Lying can cause many problems because it can lead to friends falling out with one another, the teacher telling off the wrong child and the person who’s told the lie feeling really guilty. Turn the word over and there’s a little saying that’s commonly heard: ‘Honesty is the best policy’. Sometimes, it can be really difficult to tell the truth and be honest. However, teachers always prefer children to be honest because that means that they can be trusted. Also, if it is discovered that a child has lied, the child ends up in more trouble for telling the lie.
- Miserable/Joyful. Can you imagine if everyone came into school in a really miserable mood? Nobody would be smiling and there wouldn’t be any laughter. It would be awful! The opposite of ‘miserable’ is ‘joyful’. It’s always so much nicer to have a class full of children who are happy and joyful because this helps to make learning fun.
- Annoyed/Patient. Think about what makes you annoyed. Sometimes, teachers get annoyed when children in their class are whispering when they are meant to be listening or shouting out an answer when they should be putting up their hands. When teachers get annoyed, they can turn into grumpy teachers. If we know that we’re annoying our friends, it’s always best to stop before it ends up in an argument. Being patient means that we’re waiting for our turn at something. Schools are kinder and happier places when everyone is being patient.
- Dislike/Forgive. When we’ve had a falling-out at school, we can end up disliking the other person. If a friend has done something to upset us, it’s far better to forgive than to stay cross and angry with them. In the Bible, Jesus taught people to forgive others rather than to stay cross and angry. Jesus taught that God forgives the things that we do wrong when we say sorry, and we ought to forgive others. Forgiving someone makes everyone feel better and happier within themselves.
Time for reflection
Ask the children holding the cards to turn the cards over so that the audience can see the grey words again.
Then, ask the children to give the thumbs up or thumbs down if they would like to come into a grey school where they experience meanness . . . unhelpfulness . . . (read through the rest of the grey words).
The children should put their thumbs down!
Ask the children to put up their hands if they can tell you why they wouldn’t want to have a grey school.
Listen to a range of responses.
Ask the children at the front to turn their words over to the brightly coloured side. Then, using thumbs up or thumbs down again, ask the audience if they would like to come into a colourful school where they experience kindness . . . helpfulness . . . (read through the rest of the colourful words).
The children should put their thumbs up!
Ask the children to put up their hands if they can tell you why they would like to have a colourful school.
Listen to a range of responses.
Remind the children that when we’re kind to one another and treat each other nicely, it leads to a better and happier school. We are ‘colouring the school with kindness’.
Thank you that we can be kind to one another.
Thank you for the teachers and families who teach us why we need to be kind.
Thank you, God, for the kindness and love that you show us.
Please help us to forgive our friends for any fallings-out.
Please help us always to give people a second chance.
Please help us to say sorry and start again.
‘Our God is a great big God’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaXPXWBcE3I (3.00 minutes long)