Let’s Color Our World with Kindness
Grade 2 lesson plan
- Lesson theme: Kindness
- Integrated subject: Social Studies
- Grade level: Second grade
- Time: 65 minutes total (30 minutes for art procedure)
- Lesson authors: Hannah Blackwell and Lydia Price of Miami University of Ohio.
The intention of this lesson is to inform students about Freedom Summer and how the volunteers were kind. We also want to explore how we can be kind to others through acts of kindness. Small groups will create a photography series of two photos: one that shows an act of kindness and one photo that shows an act of being unkind. The students will then be asked to write about a time when they were kind or a time in the future where they can be kind. These goals will be achieved through these essential questions:
- How can we be personally responsible for our own actions?
- What does it look like to respect others and be kind?
- How can we use photography to display kindness?
Visual Culture Component:
This video connects to the theme of kindness because it shows how just one small act of kindness can be contagious; it can have a ripple effect for people. It also demonstrates tangible ways to be kind to one another. Finally the students will relate to this video because two of the main characters in the video are students just like them.
- How can different people show different acts of kindness?
- What could happen next in this video?
- Do you think kindness is contagious?
Ohio Standards of Learning:
Theme: People Working Together
Strand: Government Topic, Civic Participation and Skills, Civic participation embraces the ideal that an individual actively engages in his or her community, state or nation for the common good. Students need to practice effective communication skills including negotiation, compromise and collaboration. Skills in accessing and analyzing information are essential for citizens in a democracy.
Content Statement: 10. Personal accountability includes making responsible choices, taking responsibility for personal actions and respecting others
Ohio Visual Art Standards for Second Grade:
2PE Distinguish the subject matter and artistic style of two or more visual artists
1PR Demonstrate increasing skill and craft in the use of art tools and materials with attention to their diverse qualities.
4RE Share their personal interpretations of the meanings conveyed in various works of art.
- Distinguish between responsible choices, taking responsibility for personal actions and respecting others by taking at least two photos of each other performing acts of kindness (S.S. Theme:People working together, Statement 10).
- Distinguish the subject matter and artistic style of two visual artists by comparing the Freedom Summer photo and Richard Renaldi photo and how they are doing acts of kindness (2PE).
- Demonstrate increasing skills and crafts in the use of art tools and materials with attention to their diverse qualities by using a camera to take photos of kindness (1PR).
- Share their personal interpretations of the meaning of kindness conveyed in photography (4RE).
Vocabulary / Academic Language:
- Kindness- The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
- Helping- A person who acts to a way to assist someone else.
- Personal actions- What a person chooses to do.
- Photographer- A person who takes photographs, especially as a job.
- Director- A person who is in charge of an activity, department, or organization.
- Posing- Place (someone) in a particular attitude or position in order to be photographed.
- Model- A person employed to pose for an artist, photographer, or sculptor.
- How do you think this woman is helping?
- Why would she help or why would she want to go to Mississippi and assist the people there?
- How is this showing kindness?
What’s going on during this time:
During the time this photo was taken, there was a “Freedom Summer Movement”. This movement aimed to achieve voter registration for African American in the south, training teachers how to teach in Freedom schools, and to teach about equality and how to live in freedom. At this time Mississippi was the most racist state in the nation. There was so much hatred shown to African Americans by the white population. In Oxford, Ohio, training for this movement was held at Western College. Here they were trained in a variety of subject matters and one of them was non-violent resistance training. Participants in the movement were trained how to be non-violent and how to defend themselves while remaining non-violent. For many, training seemed theoretical, like it wouldn’t truly affect them, but after 3 volunteers went missing in Mississippi after leaving Oxford, a turning point was set and the training became more serious. The 3 volunteers were killed out of racist hate when they attempted to take the movement to Mississippi. Training continued and eventually was taken to Mississippi.
Contemporary Artist: Richard Renaldi
Richard Renaldi is a New York photographer who created a series of work called “Touching Strangers.” In this artwork series, Renaldi finds people off the streets of New York to pose in pictures for him. They are complete strangers from all walks of life. Because his subjects are all strangers, it makes for an interesting result when he poses them in intimate photos as if they’ve known each other their whole life or were family. What is interesting about the subjects in these photos is that some of them would say that they actually care for the other person even though they have never met before. Touching the other person, for example by giving them a hug or a soft touch can make them feel comforted, give a sense of peace, or that someone cares for them.
- How is a hug an act of kindness?
- Can people who don’t know each other be kind to one another? How?
- If a hug is an act of kindness, what could an act of unkindness be?
- Vocabulary– Introduce the vocabulary words by writing them on the chalkboard and having a discussion about them. We will also discuss why we are kind to one another. (5 min.)
- Video– Show the video on what it looks like show show random acts of kindness to everyone. (2 min 13 sec)
- Freedom Summer– Show the photo from Freedom Summer. Have a discussion about how the photo portrays an act of kindness. Give context to this time period and the events that were occurring at the time. (10 min)
- Richard Renaldi– For this part, show the photo by Renaldi and give context into more of his work (these people are strangers but they are showing each other kindness by giving each other a hug). (5 min)
As an optional addition, you could show the video that explains Renaldi’s photography and his process and purpose behind it (2 min 30 sec)
- Brainstorm– We are going to go back to the chalkboard and write “kindness” on the board. From here we want to branch off and ask the class what are some examples of acts of kindness. (3 min)
- Opposite of Kindness– At this point, we want to discuss what the opposite of kindness looks like and how this makes us feel. (2 min)
- Distribute– After the discussion, delegate an act of kindness written on the board to each group for them to portray in their artwork. (1 min)
- Example– As the teachers, model what is expected within the groups. Walk through the process of taking the photos and the purpose behind it. (5 min)
- Do it!– Let the class divide and complete their photos. (15 min)
- Bring it in– Come back together as a class and discuss what they learned from the exercise and also have one of the group members email the teacher their photos. (5 min)
- Exit slip– At this point, the class will demonstrate their understanding of kindness by writing 3-5 sentences on what kindness is to them and what an act of kindness they’ve performed or want to perform in the future. (10 min)
Around 65 min lesson
- Distinguished between responsible choices, taking responsibility for personal actions and respecting others by taking at least two photos of each other performing acts of kindness (S.S. Theme: People working together Statement 10).
- Distinguished the subject matter and artistic style of two visual artists by comparing the Freedom Summer photo and Richard Renaldi photo and how they are doing acts of kindness (2PE).
- Demonstrated increasing skills and crafts in the use of art tools and materials with attention to their diverse qualities by using a camera to take photos of kindness (1PR).
- Shared their personal interpretations of the meaning of kindness conveyed through photography and writing at least 3-5 sentences with correct punctuation (4RE).
Materials and Preparation:
- Phones, camera or ipads depending on school access
- Chalk (or dry erase markers)
- Blackboard (or whiteboard)
- Ohio Visual Arts Standards
- Social Studies Standards
- Richard Renaldi video – CBS News
- Freedom Summer Photo