This lesson for older primary learners looks at the theme of kindness and involves creating a 'kindness calendar'.

Two hands reaching out towards each other
Katherine Bilsborough


The lesson starts with an age-appropriate activity to make sure learners understand the meanings of peace and war. Learners think about how they can live in peace and about the importance of kindness in our everyday lives. Then they are introduced to the idea of a kindness calendar, and they brainstorm ideas of acts of kindness that they could do at home, at school and in the community.

In the second half of the lesson, learners create their own kindness calendars, writing a kind act in each day's box and decorating the calendar with illustrations. Learners take their calendars home, and teachers set up a follow-up lesson at the end of the month to reflect on how focusing on daily acts of kindness made the learners feel.

A template is provided for this lesson for teachers to display or print. Alternatively, teachers can draw and show a copy for students. 

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the meaning of peace, war and kindness
  • Share ideas and work with others
  • Create a kindness calendar
  • Think critically about the importance of being kind and living in peace

Age and level

9-12 (A2+)


45–50 minutes


The lesson plan and template can be downloaded in PDF format below.

Introduction to the topic of peace and war (10 mins)
  • Divide the board into two halves by drawing a vertical line down the centre. Write a heading on each side: ‘Peace’ and ‘War’. Ask the learners if they know what these words mean. Accept any reasonable ideas and, if necessary, accept ideas in learners’ L1.
  • Write these incomplete sentences under each heading. Make sure you draw the correct number of dashes (one dash per missing letter in each word).
    Peace is when everyone is _ _ _ _ _.
    Peace is when people aren’t _ _ _ _ _ing.
    Peace is when everyone is _ _ _ _.
    War is when two countries are _ _ _ _ _ing. 
    War is when people live in _ _ _ _ _ _.
    In a war, people are _ _ _ and _ _ _ _ _ _.
  • Ask learners to work in small groups to guess the missing words. Give them a few minutes to guess. Then invite them to share their ideas orally or to come up to the board to write the missing words.
    Note: You can add more support by providing learners with the first letter of each word or by adding a couple of letters to each word.

Answer key
Peace is when everyone is happy.
Peace is when people aren’t fighting.
Peace is when everyone is safe.
War is when two countries are fighting. 
War is when people live in danger.
In a war, people are sad and scared.

Brainstorm (peace) (10 mins)
  • On the board write: Question: How can we live in peace?
  • Have a short class discussion, encouraging all learners to share their ideas in the form of answers. Accept all of the learners’ ideas. If nobody mentions ‘Be kind to everyone’ (or similar), make the suggestion and write the answer on the board under the question:
    Question: How can we live in peace? 
    Answer: Be kind to everyone.
  • Underline ‘everyone’ and brainstorm a list of people that everyone includes. Write the list on the board. Suggested answers: friends, classmates, family, neighbours, people at work (e.g. in shops), people in the street/park, older people, people you know/don’t know, animals
Brainstorm (acts of kindness) (10 mins)
  • Write ‘Kindness calendar’ on the board and ask learners to guess what it means. If necessary, explain that a kindness calendar is a one-month calendar with a suggestion for a kind act in each day’s box. 
  • Brainstorm some ideas for kind acts to write in a kindness calendar. Remind learners of the different groups that they identified earlier. Make a list on the board. If necessary, help with a few suggestions.

    •    Draw a picture for someone.
    •    Smile at everyone you see today.
    •    Say ‘hello’ to someone new.
    •    Clean up a mess you didn’t make.
    •    Help a family member with a chore.
    •    Fill a box with toys to donate.
    •    Share something with a friend.
    •    Make someone laugh.
    •    Send a kind message to a relative.
    •    Give a friend a hug.
    •    Thank someone for making a difference.
    •    Leave a kind note somewhere for someone to find.
    •    Do a chore for a neighbour.
    •    Tell someone why you like them.
    •    Hold the door open for someone.
    •    Feed the birds.
    •    Write a thank-you letter to someone who helps you.
    •    Let someone else go first.
    •    Play with someone new.
    •    Make a greeting card for someone.
    •    Offer to water someone’s plants.
    •    Say ‘Well done’ to someone.
    •    Make someone a gift.
    •    Tidy a cupboard at home.
    •    Lay the table without being asked.
    •    Teach a friend how to do something new.
    •    Leave a book or toy in a public place (with a note).
    •    Give a high five to a classmate.
    •    Help a friend with their homework.
    •    Put a bowl of fresh water outside for thirsty animals.

Make a kindness calendar (15-20 mins)
  • Display the kindness calendar template, give learners a copy, or draw an example of the template and show it to the class. If you display or show the template, ask learners to quickly copy it onto a piece of paper.
  • Explain that learners should write a kind act in each box. Then ask them to decorate the calendar, add their name and the month to the top and write the dates to coincide with the month ahead.
  • Learners take their calendars home and try to follow the instructions day by day to have a month of kind acts. They tick the days as they fulfil the acts of kindness.
  • Check each week that learners are using their calendars effectively. Have a discussion at the end of the month about how they felt using a kindness calendar and encourage them to share anecdotes about responses they received from their kind acts.
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