Character Education Objective: Help students understand the importance of intentionally seeking out opportunities for community service and how those acts will impact the community.

Core Alignment:


  • Essential Concept and/or Skill: Communicate and work appropriately with others to complete tasks.
  • Essential Concept and/or Skill: Learn leadership skills and demonstrate integrity, ethical behavior, and social responsibility.
  • Determine a procedure for how people can effectively work together to make decisions to improve their classrooms or communities.
  • Determine effective strategies for solving particular community problems


  • Essential Concept and/or Skill: Communicate and work productively with others emphasizing collaboration and cultural awareness to produce quality work.
  • Essential Concept and/or Skill: Practice leadership skills, and demonstrate integrity, ethical behavior, and social responsibility in all activities.


We all have a natural connection to our community, but we can strengthen that with acts of kindness to those around us. Often, those acts need to be intentional and we need to seek out the opportunity. When we do it has a ripple effect on our community and it will continue to spread as long as we all participate.

Ask students to watch the video below.

Life Vest Inside- Kindness Boomerang:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU

After the video, ask students what they saw in this video. What happened when each character went out of her way to help the next? Would that character have helped the next if she had not been helped before? Ask them what they think caused each person to help the next?

Can our class cause a chain reaction like this? How could we start?

Brainstorm ideas as a classroom about either a service project or intentional acts of kindness you could do this month. Write all possible ideas down and encourage all children to add any idea that comes to mind. In brainstorming, it is important to allow all ideas to make it to the list and then you can refine ideas in a later step. Once the brainstorm list is created, talk about any obstacles that may limit this project. There may be a budget, no money at all or time may be a consideration. Set any perimeters and allow the students to problem solve to either overcome the obstacle or decide to remove it from the list. Refine the list to possible projects or acts and allow the class to vote. Perform your service project or acts of kindness and share with The Ray Center on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheRayCenter/ or on Twitter @TheRayCenter.

Optional Activity

Literacy gives us so many characters who seek out opportunities and make intentional choices to positively impact community. Characters are great at reinforcing concepts and we have picked out a few that are quick and easy reads. These stories can supplement transition or wait activities. Choose a story below and discuss how each character made a choice and how that choice impacted her community.

  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
  • Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed byEmily Pearson
  • What If Everybody Did That?byEllen Javernick
  • If Everybody Did byJo Ann Stover
  • Is There Really a Human Race? byJamie Lee Curtis
  • Fill A Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children byCarol McCloud
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee byPhilip C. Stead
  • Stone Soup byMarcia Brown

Ask some of the following questions:

  • What would you do if you were that character?
  • How do you think the other character felt?
  • How did that action impact the next one?
  • How does that help build the community?

 Parent Connection:

Share with families about your service project or acts of kindness. Ask families to think about creating a service project or acts of kindness plan together. It can be big or small, but every act matters and reinforces the concepts of the lesson plan you completed. Encourage them to visit the following website that is full of ideas including plans and instructions:


Ask families who participate to share family projects with The Ray Center on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheRayCenter/ or on Twitter @TheRayCenter.

Learn more about character education.

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K-5 Character Education Lesson Plan: Community Service
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