Character Education

Division 3: Grades 7+

Below are discussion questions and activities to foster kindness for animals, people, and the environment. Both the discussion questions and activities are part of the ‘Kindness’ character education theme for the 2015-2016 school year! To see other character building themes, click here!

Discussion Questions:

  • Why is being kind important?
  • Who (or what) do we need to be kind to? Is there anyone/anything that doesn’t deserve our kindness? Explain.
  • Why might others not be king?
  • Does kindness look the same to everyone?
  • What are some examples of kindness that you have witnessed?
  • Who is positively affected by acts of kindness? The Giver, receiver, and even witnesses can receive the benefits of a kind act!
  • How does being kind benefit your classroom? School? Community?
  • What are some characteristics of kind people?
  • How can we be kind to others? Animals? The Environment?


1. Show Your Soft Side

Is it important for everyone to be kind? In small groups, have students brainstorm general characteristics of professional football or hockey players. Student responses may include words like tough, strong, intimidating, etc. Then, record the answers of each group on the board. Have a class discussion on the words on the board and encourage students to share why they chose the words they did. As a class, watch the ‘Show Your Soft Side Like The Tough Guys Do’ video (1:45).

Post Video Discussion Questions

  • What characteristics do the men in the video show?
  • How do these characteristics differ from the characteristics on the board?
  • Did anything surprise you in the video?
  • What does ‘Show Your Soft Side’ mean?
  • Can someone be tough and soft at the same time? Explain.
  • How can you show that being kind to animals is important to you?

Then, back in their original groups, have students discuss and record different ways people can ‘show their soft side’ or be kind. Encourage students to think about animals, people, and the environment. Have each group come up with their own slogan, that encourages others to be kind. Have each group share their slogan with the class.

EXTENION: Students can create a video or a poster for their campaign to share in the school.

*Credit: Adapted from activities provided on the Show Your Soft Side website. 

Screenshot from 'Show Your Soft Side Like The Tough Guys Do' video

2. Healthy Relationships

Part of any healthy relationship involves kindness. Whether it is a relationship with a classmate, friend, partner, or even a pet, kindness plays a pivotal role. What are other characteristics of a healthy relationship? In small groups, have students complete the Healthy Relationships activity sheet. Each group will list characteristics of a healthy relationship. Then the groups will develop three strategies to help build and maintain a healthy relationship (i.e.: communication). Finally students will describe factors that contribute to unhealthy relationships and list three strategies on how to deal with an unhealthy relationship. Have each group present to the class.

3. Kindness Challenge

Make a difference in your school, home and community completing the Kindness Challenge with your class! Follow the Kindness Challenge Calendar and complete 18 simples acts of kindness towards self, others, animals and the environment! Challenge your class for the entire 18 days, or see how many of the days you can do! Challenge another class to complete the activity with you.

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