Having an elf in your classroom for the winter months can be SO much fun! It adds some excitement to the day and gives students something to look forward to. Using a kindness elf is the perfect way to incorporate an elf while also promoting cheer, kindness, and doing good deeds. Keep reading for ideas on how to use a classroom kindness elf! Perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!
If you’re a Simply Kinder + member, instantly download the Classroom Kindness Elf activities here! Not a member yet, learn more here!
- Classroom Elf Pros and Cons
- Kindness Bulletin Board
- December Classroom Management
- Elf Classroom Ideas
- More Elf Ideas
This activity goes well with these Simply Kinder resources:
What is a Classroom Kindness Elf?
The Holiday Classroom Elf and Kindness Chain is the best way to promote cheer this holiday season! All of the activities are editable and printable so you can customize them to fit your specific classroom needs. You can choose to buy an actual elf to have in your classroom like this plush one from Target, one of the options from Dollar Tree, or you can print one from the unit to hang up as a visual. Another option is to tell students the elf comes at night, leaves a new task for them, and then runs back to the North Pole before school starts!
This set includes everything you need to get this set up in your classroom:
- Editable arrival letter
- Print & go easy reader teaching what classroom elves do
- Graphic organizers to describe classroom elves
- Color and black/white kindness chain
- 30 task chains to do to spread good deeds, appropriate school behaviors, and cheer & kindness throughout the school
- Discussion or brainstorming graphic organizers to talk about each task specifically
- Reflection prompts for students to think about what they did that day
- Editable departure letter
- Honorary classroom elf certificate
- Cheer & Joy Journal cover to reflect on all the things you do
Teaching Tips & Ideas
- Introduce the Topic: Start with the arrival letter and easy reader. Explain that you are going to have a classroom kindness elf this year and read all about them. There will be a different kindness task each day that needs to be completed. You can decide which order or how many tasks to complete in a day.
- Check for Understanding: Use the classroom elf graphic organizer to have students describe what they have learned. Fill in the bubbles with descriptions of what the elves are. You can do this whole group, in small groups, or individually.
- Model Expectations: While going through the kindness chain and discussion/brainstorming organizers, show students what it means to do the different tasks. For example, smile at each student and say, “This is how I would smile at everyone I see.” Or look at a student while having a conversation modeling eye contact during interactions. Write an example of a thank you letter on the board or chart so students can see how to write a letter. Create some additional kindness tasks as a class that you come up with together!
- Reflect: Use the reflection prompts during your writing time for students to think about what they did, and how it made them feel. Use the “I do, we do, you do” method for the first one so they know what is needed.
- Differentiate: There are so many great differentiation options in this unit! You can choose many different elf printing options for how it will look, or leave it black and white and let students color it themselves. Students can write or draw for the journal, brainstorming, and reflection pages. You really can tailor this to exactly what works best for YOUR class!
Don’t forget about the departure letter! Your elf has a special letter for your students thanking them for all their hard work and being proud of all the kindness they spread. It’s a great way to wrap up the month before students leave for the long winter break!
The honorary elf certificate turns all your students into elves and says they should spread kindness ALL year long! The editable template lets you type in all your students’ names and will auto-populate one per form to print. So much fun! Want to make your students feel even more like an elf? Check out this adorable “Elf Yourself” craft and writing activity! Your students will love seeing their faces on an elf body after all their elf fun this season!
Videos about Kindness
Do you need some other ideas for your blank chain pieces, or want to get students thinking about what it means to be kind? Check out these teacher-approved videos and songs!
This video called “When Nobody’s Watching” has no words, but a beautiful message. It’s all about observing random acts of kindness with a little girl watching from her window as kindness is spread along her street. It also has a wintery/holiday vibe to it which goes really well with the kindness elf unit!
“A Spot of Kindness” is a popular kindergarten book, and it’s a great reminder for this time of year! This is a read aloud video with permission from the author, and the students will love hearing the different voices!
“Kindness is a Muscle” features real children singing and talking about using kindness as a muscle. It can flex and grow with everything kind that we do!
Get Your Kindness Elf Now!
Now that you know all about how to use the classroom kindness elf, it’s time to get your own! You can grab it here from Simply Kinder, here from TpT, or download it instantly here if you are a member of Simply Kinder +! You are going to love using this with your class this holiday season!
Be sure to tag #simplykinder on Instagram if you post any pictures! Have any other ideas or questions? Let us know on our Simply Kinder Teacher Group Facebook page! Happy Elfing!
This post was written by Johanna, an experienced early elementary teacher who loves learning about new teaching ideas for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!