Ripples of Kindness

The beauty and depth of honesty in this story, Each Kindness, took my breath away.

Title: Each Kindness
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Pictures: E.B. Lewis
Publishing: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012
Ages: 5-8
Themes: Friendship, Values, Emotions & Feelings

Synopsis from Amazon: Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her friends, they reject her. Eventually Maya stops coming to school. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.

My Thoughts: I’ll be using this story at the beginning of the year with my new class of wonderful ones.

I know they will be touched by Maya and Chloe’s story, a story of choices, rejection, missed opportunities, regret.

I hope to have a character building lesson each Friday. The lesson used by Chloe’s teacher will be perfect.

“This is what kindness does”, Ms. Albert said. “Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.”

She demonstrates to the children how the ripples from one little rock dropping into a bowl of water are akin to the ripples that extend from one small act of kindness.

I have the perfect gold trimmed glass bowl I’m going to bring to school.

Every Friday, each child will have the opportunity to place a small polished river rock in the water-filled bowl while naming a small act of kindness they extended to another person.

I think it will be a beautiful weekly ritual and the perfect way to remember the important things in life.

A huge thanks to Barbara from The Corner for introducing me to this important book.

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23 thoughts on “Ripples of Kindness”

  1. I totally agree. I used this with second graders last year. I paired it with The 100 Dresses. It is a lovely book. I think I might start my year off the same. It helps to give that very real feeling of the fact that each opportunity you are given to be kind might be the only one you get. I'm thinking of making a big VISTAPRINT banner for my room that said Choose to Be Kind. I think that's my theme this year.

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  2. Yay … I knew you would LOVE this book … it's just like you, sending those Pay It Forward packages … see that ripple? I got one, then sent two … one to WI and one to IA … and have one more going out east when my friend gets settled in her new home and has an address … Kindness ripples out in a HUGE, beautiful way!!Thanks for the shout out.Barbara

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  3. What a wonderful visual to go with the book. I think it will really have an impact. I'll have to check to see if I can find that book. I really want to work with the kids on building a community in the classroom this year. Thanks for sharing. It might be kind of neat to write the act of kindness on the rock before putting it in the water. Maybe you were already thinking this, if the child said I helped Sandy pick up her crayons. Then talk what word could be used to describe the act. Probably they will all say helpful, so write it on the rock. The next time someone tries to say helpful, urge them to look for another word such as caring. OK, sorry for going on and on and on…KellyI'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

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  4. In a world where intellectual abilities seem to be increasing and social skills diminishing your idea is wonderful. I love counter cultural concepts like this. Most of the time our society is telling our children that they are the most important thing, to put themselves first and relationships and giving a sad second. I will definitely read this book and implement your idea with my Little Learners encouraging them to build others up through their acts of kindness.Thanks for your post Barb.Julie 🙂Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

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  5. What a wonderful and beautiful way to spread kindness throughout your learning community. I hope it spreads thoughout your school and community as well! Your kindness to fellow bloggers has certainly had a ripple effect that I have felt. I LOVE Jacqueline's books. They all have such a deep emotional message for us to learn from. I love Kimberly's idea of having a theme that has deeper meaning than Owls…I may have to do the same. What would happen if we all had the theme “Choose to Be Kind”?!Jenny

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  6. I just found your blog through Pinterest. I was actually looking for you I'm a Bucket Filler poem and found this page. I am definitely going to look for this book. I love the idea and I too think it will make an impact on my class and myself. Thanks for sharing your idea with us.Tammy Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

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  7. You always leave such lovely thoughtful comments, Jenny. I'm not familiar with her other books, but I'll definitely be checking them out.The three of us could do \”choose to be kind\”. That would be an awesome start:)

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  8. I think the whole “me” thing started in the 90's, didn't it? Maybe you're too young to remember:). But I remember teaching “me” themes and being vaguely uncomfortable with them.Thanks for stopping by, Julie!

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  9. I loved this book. I read it to my class last year…without reading it ahead of them:-) After finishing book, we just had to sit and soak it in. We were so sad at the ending. It was so fascinating watching the meaning sink in with my classroom. LaurieChickadee Jubilee

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