Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness

It's December, that wonderful time of year again!  December brings back so many lovely memories from my childhood - the smell of cedar, a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, a time of Christmas cheer and being thoughtful and kind to others. That's one wish I have for my family and students, as well -  to make memories that connect this season with a time of spreading good cheer and joy to others. 

In the classroom, it's the perfect time to remind students how important it is to be kind and build others up, not tear them down.  This fits right in with any anti-bullying program you may have.

I developed an activity to bring the spirit of kindness into the classroom around the theme of the twelve days of Christmas.  The finished activity will leave every student with a gift of kind words from his or her classmates in this cute little individual Journal of Christmas Kindness.



The making of the journal is done, a little at a time, during the last twelve school days before Christmas break, thus the Twelve Days of Christmas Kindness.

The first day, we have a discussion about how Christmastime is a special time of giving......a time to spread cheer and be kind to others.  Then we brainstorm kind words one might give to others, and I record them onto a chart.  This helps students to give a variation of kind words to their classmates when they write to them, instead of the same thing every time.




I also display a Christmas gift box and provide students with a page of small tags they will use to write to 1 - 3 students (depending on the class size) each day, giving kind words to each.  They put the tag in the gift box, and I distribute them to the receivers when it's time to work on constructing the journal.  



At the end of twelve days, every student in class should have written to every other student in class.
I make a rotation schedule to help make sure everyone writes to everyone else.  Below you can see the editable rotation page I created.  On Day 1, Xavier and Wendy write to Andy and Mary.  Day 2,
Xavier and Wendy rotate to the bottom to write to Liam and Xavier (except Xavier just writes to Liam).  Everyone else moves up, so Vicki and Urie will be writing to Andy and Mary, and so on.  I will continue the rotation in the same manner each day until every student has written a kind note to every other student in class.



Here is what a page of the tags looks like.


The Making of the Journal 
(Twelve Days of Christmas)

Every student will begin their personal Journal of Christmas Kindness.  I give them each two templates - the Journal cover and the First Day of Christmas page.  They write their name on the cover and then complete the Day 1 writing, referring to the tag(s) they received that day.  (*Note: Make all copies ahead.  I suggest colored construction paper for the cover and white construction paper for the 12 writing pages.)  They write the name of the classmate(s) who gave them words of kindness and then write the kind words they said.  They also write how it made them feel.  Finally, I let them color/decorate the pages.
  
I punch two holes at the top of the ornament cover and then line up the writing page to punch holes in the same place.  I distribute ribbon about 18" long for them to run through the front of one hole and back to the front through the other hole (I wait to tie it together until Day 12).  
I will line up the next day's writing page to punch holes, and then they pull the ribbon through it as well.  We keep doing this each day. 



Then on Day 12, they tie the ribbon in a bow in front.  And Viola!  Every student has the gift of kind words from his or her classmates!  They love this!

If you would like a copy of the templates I created for this activity, just click HERE or on the image above to download them all from my Google Docs.  When you get there, click on "File" and choose "Download as"... "Microsoft Power Point" so you can edit the student rotation sheet from your own file. 
Please, please, DO NOT edit it right on my Google Doc, so others will be able access it as is. Thank you for your courtesy.

If you prefer a Twelve Days of HOLIDAY Kindness version, click HERE.  Again, please no editing on the Google Doc file.


A special thanks to Jen at Teaching in the Tongass for the ornament clipart!



Happy Holidays and Christmas Cheer!

                    


9 comments

  1. This is such a sweet idea, Anita. I'm sure your students treasure these special journal ornaments!
    Linda at Primary Inspiration

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  2. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment, Linda! Yes, I do think kids always feel special when they have a physical reminder of how great their classmates think they are.

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  3. Anita-I LOVE this post! What a sweet idea for the holiday season!
    Carla

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  4. Such a great idea! Since we only have 10 days left, I am going to fill in day 11 for each student and then I'm making a template for mom & dad to do day 12! I know this will be a treasure that my 2nd graders will LOVE forever! Thanks for sharing the templates!

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  5. Valerie, I'm so glad you found a way to make it work with the limited number of days. Great idea! Happy Holidays!

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  6. This is such a wonderful idea! I know the kids will treasure those special books of kind words from their friends!

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  7. Thanks for stopping by and leaving the"kind" words, Peggy! Happy Holidays!

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