Planning For It

When You Might Use This Practice

  • Anytime during the year

 

Time Required

  • 30-40 minutes

 

Materials

  • Miss Tizzy by Libba Moore Gray
  • Optional: Drawing/writing materials

 

Learning Objective

Students will:

  • Identify the intentions of characters in a story who perform acts of kindness for others

 

Additional Supports

 

SEL Competencies

  • Self-Awareness
  • Social Awareness

How To Do It

Reflection Before the Practice

Take a moment to think of someone you know who has gone out of their way to do kind things for others. What sort of things has this person done and what impact have their actions had on others? Has this person ever been thanked? If not, is there a way to express gratitude to them?

Instructions

About the Book

  • Miss Tizzy always wears a purple hat with a flower in it. She lives in a pink house with a yard full of flowers that spill onto the sidewalk. Each day of the week, she welcomes the neighborhood children to her home for a different fun activity — baking cookies, putting on puppet shows, making a marching band, playing dress-up, roller-skating, and more. The children love it all — and they love Miss Tizzy. But one day, Miss Tizzy is sick and doesn’t get out of bed. The children don’t know what to do without her. Then they decide to do for Miss Tizzy all the things she has done with them. They bake her cookies, put on a puppet show for her, play music outside her house, etc. At the end of the book, Miss Tizzy is still in bed, but smiling deeply about all the ways the children have shown that they care.
  • Tell the class that you are going to read them a story about Miss Tizzy, a woman who does many kind things for children in her neighborhood. Show the cover of the book, and ask students:
    • What do you see?
    • What are your first thoughts about Miss Tizzy?

Read the Book

  • As the different activities are described, ask:
    • What do you think the children are feeling? How can you tell?
    • What do you think Miss Tizzy is feeling? How can you tell?
  • On the page where the children bring their art work to “people who had stopped smiling,” ask:
    • How do you think the people felt when they got the children’s drawings?
  • At the end of the story, ask:
    • How do you think Miss Tizzy felt after the children did their acts of kindness?
    • Why do you think Miss Tizzy chose to do all those fun things with the children?
    • Why did the children decide to do what they did for Miss Tizzy?
  • Point out that people who do kind and caring things for others usually do them on purpose. They mean to make others feel good.

Small Group Activity

  • Form small groups. Give each group one of the scenes from the book (corresponding to one of the days in the week). Ask the groups to think about what the children in the book could have said to let Miss Tizzy know that they understood why she did these caring things, and that they were grateful.
  • Ask groups to share their ideas, or act them out in a short skit.

Closure

  • Ask students to reflect on how it feels to say “thank you” to someone in their lives who has done something kind for them.

Extensions

  • Ask students whether there is someone in their life who cares about them the way Miss Tizzy cares about the children in the book, or in another way that shows that they care?
  • Have students draw a picture of that person, and write what they are grateful for.
  • They can also write a note to that person, expressing their gratitude in a way that shows they understand why this person cares about them.

 

Source

Nurturing Gratitude From the Inside Out: 30 Activities for Grades K–8” was originally developed by The Inner Resilience Program, in partnership with the Greater Good Science Center and the John Templeton Foundation.

For the entire curriculum, click here.

Reflection After the Practice

Do you notice if students are treating each other with more kindness or expressing gratitude for other people’s kind actions?

The Research Behind It

Evidence That It Works

One study discovered that mainly affluent white students who were taught to think gratefully by considering the costs, benefits, and intentions behind a kind act were found, in comparison to a control group, to be happier and more grateful, and to show more grateful thinking. They also were more likely to write gratitude letters to PTA members.

 

Why Does It Matter?

Reflecting on kind acts that someone does for another person can help encourage children’s own kindness. Indeed, a study of 18-month olds who were shown a picture of two dolls facing each other—a simple reminder of our connectedness—versus toddlers shown a generic picture discovered that those who were shown the two dolls were three times more likely to spontaneously help an adult.

Hence, small reminders of our innate kindness and concern for each other can be powerful catalysts for cultivating kindness in students, improving both the classroom and school climates along the way.

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”
–Eric Hoffer