Inside: Use this Kindness Vocabulary Activity to help teach sel curriculum and kindness concepts in a hands-on and fun way for students.
I remember one of my least favorite parts in school was when we were required to memorize a whole list of new vocabulary words with an impending test around the corner.
The words were listed out with their definitions next to them. My teacher–incidentally one of my least favorites–told us to memorize the list.
So I diligently wrote each one on an index card, quizzing myself methodically over and over again, boring myself to tears.
And the test came, I wrote down everything I remembered, and then I quickly forgot everything I remembered. Because those words meant nothing to me. No context. No real meaning or true understanding. No interest on my part.
Now as educators we understand the value of adding vocabulary to our students’ repertoire, but we also understand that rote memorization adds little value.
If instead, we make the learning fun, hands-on, and into a game, the students will find more meaning and will retain the information for a lifetime because it will become part of their vocabulary, not something to be memorized and then forgotten.
So to help students master and understand social-emotional vocabulary, we’ve created this Vocabulary Activity that could easily be called a “game” and played during centers.
Why Teaching SEL is Important
We can teach it by using our 60 Kindness Discussion Starters, our Emergent Reader Bundle of books and our Kindness Zoo.
We can use our Kindness Dictionary and our Kind or Unkind Sorts in our centers and we an always use Kindness Books to teach concepts we need to introduce students to.
Because when we take the time to intentionally teach kindness or we fit it into the cracks of our lesson plans with teachable moments, we set our students up for:
- academic success
- increased confidence and self-esteem
- increased school attendance
- positive peer interactions
- learning in an emotionally safe space
- being bully-proofed
Related: 10 Tips for Teaching SEL
What’s Included in our Kindness Vocabulary Activity:
- vocabulary words, definitions, and images on cards to match up (20 words)
- fill in the blank Kindness Vocabulary Worksheet
- answer key for worksheet
- ideas to extend the lesson to use these vocabulary words in new ways
- blank cards to add in your own words and definitions
It covers these 20 words/phrases:
- true friend
- turn taking
How to Use our Kindness Vocabulary Activity
1. Purchase and print the vocab cards on cardstock and cut them all apart.
2. To make this activity self-checking (or to help you) write the vocabulary word on the back of the definition and the image cards.
3. If your students aren’t ready to use the definitions, they can match the picture to the vocabulary word and you can save the definitions for later (or never).
4. If there are words you don’t want to teach yet, you can batch words into zipped baggies and only offer a few at a time to match up.
5. Go over the words and make sure students understand what the pictures represent.
6. In small groups, centers, or as a whole group, have students match up the vocabulary word to the image and to the definition on a table, on the carpet, or in a pocket chart.
7. To extend the activity, students can add these words to their personal dictionaries, their kindness journal, or they can write sentences using these words. They can also make their own vocabulary cards with the blank page.
8. Students can complete the Fill in the Blank activity to show their understanding of these vocabulary words.
No more boring flashcards where you have to drill yourself until it’s memorized.
This hands-on learning vocabulary activity will help kids understand these social emotional words and phrases in a meaningful way.
Ready to Get Started and Purchase our Kindness Vocabulary Activity?
Purchase it in our online store
Purchase it on Teachers Pay Teachers
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