Teaching kindness to our young students is most effective when we model kind behavior in the classroom and at home. There is so much research which reveals why we need kindness – it is a feel-good emotion with many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. Teaching kindness is also a powerful and free resource to reduce anti-social and bullying behaviour as children get older.
Teaching kindness includes teaching empathy, and in the Early Years, our Nursery students experienced an interesting lesson about The Bruised and Beautiful Apple.
Ms. Padgett showed her students two identical, red apples.
She took the first apple - and she shouted at it.
She told the apple she would not share.
She told the apple she did not want to play with it anymore.
She invited all the children to say unkind things to that apple.
To the other apple, Ms. Padgett said absolutely lovely things;
The apple was very shiny.
It looked simply delicious.
It was a perfect apple.
Ms. Padgett then cut both the apples open.
The perfect apple inside….well, it was perfect; it looked fresh and delicious inside and out.
But the apple who had experienced all those unkind words was not perfect.
It was bruised and broken.
It did not look perfect at all.
Ms. Padgett talked with the children about what happens inside us, when people say mean and unkind words to us. We may look the same on the outside.
But inside, we can be bruised and broken. We need to look after each other.
Just like we looked after the beautiful apple.
Be kind. Be respectful. These are two of our College values which we practice everyday.
Note: If you want to try this powerful lesson at home with your young child, do make sure you bruise/drop/bang one of your apples beforehand so that when you cut into it and show it to your child, it appears bruised and broken inside. Let your class teacher know if you do it - we will be interested to hear what your child thought about it!