This challenge encourages students to do more than what they are expected to do by performing an act of kindness for a family or community member. Introduce the idea of doing kind acts for someone through a story (e.g., The Gardener by Sarah Stewart tells of a young girl who undertakes a project to cheer up her sombre uncle). To begin, ask students if any of them have done something for or given something to a family or community member that made the recipient happy. After reading the story, photocopy pictures of each character in the story and create a chart with a column for each character. Ask students to recall, or reread to them, how each character helped the others. Ask students to consider which of the character's helping actions were required "jobs" (expected duties) and which were "acts of kindness" (nice things they might choose to do for someone else). From this discussion, develop a list of criteria for an act of kindness (e.g., not already expected of us, doable by children, makes someone happy, a parent or the teacher would allow us to do it).
Using these criteria, invite the class to brainstorm a list of possible acts of kindness that students might undertake. As an extension, ask each student to choose and implement an appropriate "act of kindness" for a family or community member. You may wish to adapt the strategies and chart, Committing to Action (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity. When the kind acts are completed, ask students to describe to the class how it made them feel to be acting in this manner.
Adapted from I Can Make a Difference, edited by Mary Abbott, Roland Case and Jan Nicol (Richmond, BC: The Critical Thinking Consortium, 2002), 5774.