Inside: Use this I am Kind at School Kindness Emergent Reader Freebie to teach sel curriculum to your students and connect character education with reading skills.
One of the hardest parts of being a teacher is being given a list of the curriculum we have to cover and then we’re handed an extra list we also have to cover even though we don’t have enough minutes in the day to fit it all in.
My first year of teaching, it was Character Education.
I was barely figuring out how to teach the alphabet to my Kindergarten students. So I was resentful I also I had to squeeze in one more topic into my day.
The only way we could ever teach everything we have to in a day is to do double duty.
So we write about science.
We do art during social studies.
And we read books about character education.
There are tons of great kindness books, and books about how to be an includer and good friend.
But our students also thrive when they have books on topics they can read themselves.
So use this Kindness Emergent Reader: I am Kind at School to connect character education to reading so we can cover two curriculums with one activity.
Why we need to teach kindness to our students
Students who do not feel safe in our classrooms and in our school will never be able to learn.
If they are being teased or bullied or isolated on the playground, they won’t feel confident to raise their hand, participate in class, and take a chance at being wrong.
Students don’t know how to deal with tricky social situations on the playground. They don’t know how to stand up for themselves or stand up to bullies. They don’t know how to deal with “mean girls” or how to include someone on the playground.
We have to teach them.
And we can, while we teach them the core subjects.
Related: How to Encourage Kindness in Our Classrooms with These Tips
We hang Kindness posters up in our classrooms and hallways and maybe even have Kindness Week. But it’s not enough. We have to intentionally teach students how to be kind. How to not be a bully. How to stand up to bullies. How to be a good friend.
Sure, we could argue that these skills should be taught at home. But for so many students, these skills aren’t being taught at home. So if we don’t teach them, our students are missing a key component to learning: how to be a good person.
So as teachers, we can change this. We have the power to not only teach our students the state standards. We can also teach them how to speak and act with kindness more often. It’ll make our classrooms kinder places to be.
And it’ll make sure all of our students feel welcomed, included and safe so they come to school ready to learn those state standards.
How to use this Kindness Emergent Reader Freebie or Kindness Early Reader Freebie
1. Decide if you need an easy Emergent Reader for beginner readers and download it below. It uses simple vocabulary and simple sight words.
2. If you have older students or more advanced readers, download and print our Early Reader I am Kind freebie. It uses more advanced vocabulary (download it below).
3. Make copies for your students. You’ll only need to print half the number of students because there are two sheets on each page.
4. Cut apart the books and staple them together for your students.
5. Read the emergent readers as a whole group.
When students are familiar with the language in the book, they can partner reader, silent read, and read to a class pet or a class stuffed animal.
6. Keep talking about kindness to keep the conversation going.
To talk about kindness more, you can use these 60 Kindness Discussion Starters or this Skittles Game, or this Trash or Kindness Game.
Ready to get a copy of our I am Kind at School Emergent Reader Freebie?
Download the Emergent Reader I am Kind at School here (simple language)
Download the Early Reader I am Kind at school here (more advanced language)
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