HELPING TEACHERS INSPIRE COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS, PEOPLE & THE ENVIRONMENT

Classroom Resources

Kindness Challenge

Make a difference in your school, home and community by participating in the Kindness Challenge! As a class, follow the Kindness Challenge Calendar and complete 18 simple acts of kindness towards self, others, animals and the environment! 

This all ages activity incorporates simple acts of kindness making a positive difference in your class, school, and community – and can be done virtually! Challenge your class and/or group for the entire eighteen days, or see how many of the days you can do!

The daily activities include online resources that provide more information and allow for the flexibility to complete the challenge virtually. Scroll down to see the activities and online resources.

Be sure to let us know if you participate in the Kindness Challenge. Every class and/or group who completes the challenge will be added to the Kindness Map!

Make kindness contagious by posting about your challenge on social media using the #KindnessChallege hashtag.

Download and print the Kindness Challenge Calendar to share with students so they can track their progress.

Let us know if you participate in the Kindness Challenge to be added to the Kindness Map!

Kindness Activities & Online Resources

Day 1 - Make a Difference!

As a class or group, choose a cause to help! Ex. Collect towels for an animal shelter, toothbrushes for a youth centre, or become pen pals with seniors at a local centre. You could also choose an idea from the following list.

  • See if local shelters have a “wish list” on their website. Choose some items to collect and donate.
  • Collect food for a local food bank
  • Become pen pals with seniors at a local senior centre
  • Organize a bottle drive and donate the funds raised to a local community group
  • Create an awareness campaign to educate others on important animal issues (Ex. Keeping your cat indoors, how to care for a reptile

Day 2 - Connect

Write a letter, call, or video chat a friend or family member. Tell them why you appreciate them. Let your friend or family member know that you are participating in the Kindness Challenge, and tell them what you have planned for “Make a Difference,” maybe they would like to participate?

Day 3 - Reduce Your Waste

Instead of tossing it in the garbage or recycling, reduce your waste by finding a different use for an item you no longer need. The possibilities are endless when it comes to reusing items! If you get creative, pets can provide a good opportunity to reuse items that otherwise might just be recycled or thrown in the garbage. Here are a few examples:

  • If you forget your reusable produce bags and have to use plastic ones from the grocery store, reuses those bags to pick up after your pet
  • Rather than buy a new container to store your pet treats in, reuse a glass jar
  • Putting treats in a paper towel roll and pinching the ends, makes a great enrichment puzzle toy for your dog. Make sure you supervise your dog to be sure he just eats the treats
  •  

Visit the City of Edmonton Reuse Centre Facebook page for more ideas!

Day 4 - Wildlife Conservation

Choose an endangered animal in Alberta to learn more about. Find out what more we can do to protect them. Share your information with at least two others.

Often when we think of endangered animals we think of animals like rhinoceros, elephants and tigers. While it is incredibly important to protect those animals, there are animals in Alberta that require our attention too. For information on the species at risk in Alberta, and what can be done to protect them, visit the following links:

Day 5 - Get Outside

Get outside with nature and enjoy the fresh air. Look for wildlife or signs that they have been in the area. What did you find? Remember to pick up any litter you come across.

Remember: While observing wildlife, it is critical to not disturb the animal. Be respectful by giving the animal space, being quiet and observing from a distance. Never touch or feed wildlife as this can result in injury to the animal or person.

Day 6 - Family Time

Help plan and prepare dinner with your family. After enjoying the meal together, help clean up

Day 7 - Mindfulness

Find a quiet space where you can sit for 2 minutes by yourself. Think about something you are proud of or grateful for. Share with a friend if you’d like.

Mindfulness means maintaining a few moments of awareness of our own thoughts and emotions. It can help manage stress and increase one’s ability to focus. For additional resources on mindfulness visit the following links:

Day 8 - Play with Pets

Toys and play help animals express their normal behaviour. Make a toy or game for your pet, or if you have a fish or reptile, add enrichment to their habitat! Changing the habitat (using branches, rocks, and logs and switching them periodically) is a quick and easy way to keep your reptile interested and engaged. Here are some great examples of easy animal toys to make along with a simple bird feeder:

Day 9 - Caring Community

Caring communities include individuals that care for other people, animals and the environment. Send a card to a caring community member (veterinarian, nurse, fish and wildlife officer, etc.) thanking them for all that they do.

It might help to first make a list of all the members of your community you can think of who care for others.

  • How many people can you think of?
  • Are you interested in any of these jobs?
  • What interests, skills, and knowledge would a person need to do the job?

If you don’t know, include a couple questions with you card and hopefully you will get an answer back!

To learn more about what Alberta SPCA Peace Officers do check out the following links:

Day 10 - Natural Habitat

Native plants are important because they require less water, promote pollination, and preserve natural habitat. Discover what plants/flowers/tree species are native to your community. Find a native tree/bush species in your community. Take a photo!

You might find this Guide to Native Trees and Shrubs of Alberta useful!

Day 11 - Five Freedoms

Domestic (pets and farm) animals rely on people for more than just food, water, and shelter. Go over the Five Freedoms and list three other things animals need.

An animal’s primary welfare needs can be met by safeguarding the following Five Freedoms:

  • Freedom from Hunger and Thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour
  • Freedom from Discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
  • Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
  • Freedom from Fear and Distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
  • Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind

For a short video that highlights how the Five Freedoms can be met for a dog, watch Life with Louis.

Day 12 - Animal Appreciation

Appreciate the animals in your community! This could be spending extra time with your pets or observing wildlife in your own backyard. What did you notice? How did spending time in the presence of animals make your feel?

Remember: While observing wildlife, it is critical to not disturb the animal. Be respectful by giving the animal space, being quiet and observing from a distance. Never touch or feed wildlife as this can result in injury to the animal or person.

Day 13 - Move Your Body

Being physically active is important for your health and wellness. Spend 60 minutes moving your body to your ability. Ex. Taking a brisk walk, playing an active game, or dancing.

For more information on moving your body visit the Participaction website!

Day 14 - Disconnect

Unplug from technology today and take some time for yourself. Ex. Read a book, draw a picture, get outside, or play with your pet!

Day 15 - Clean Up

Make the world a better place by cleaning up. Ex. Collect trash in your school yard, recycle paper in your classroom, or do an extra chore at home. Collecting trash in your neighbourhood not only makes your community more inviting, it ensures that pets and wildlife do not consume items which may make them sick.

Day 16 - Random Acts of Kindness

Brighten someone’s day by doing a random act of kindness. Ex. Shovel your neighbour’s sidewalk, paint a rock and leave it for someone to find, draw a picture for your fridge.

For more random act of kindness ideas visit the Random Acts of Kindness website!

Day 17 - Make Your Contribution

As a class or group, discuss your success and how it will help the organization or group you chose to help on the ‘Make a Difference Day.’ Give yourselves a pat on the back for making a difference!

Day 18 - Reflection

How did this challenge make you feel? Tell us how it went and we will add your group/class to the Kindness Map!

Upon completion, have students reflect on their experience. As reflection is an important part of the learning process, it is important to allow students the opportunity to think about their experience and make meaning from it. How did the Kindness Challenge go? What did they learn?

Go over these reflection questions with your students.

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