Activity for ‘The Peace Bird: I can make someone happy today’

The Peace Bird: I can make someone happy today

by Eleitino Paddy Walker

“ To comfort someone who is feeling sad is one of the kindest things you can do. It also makes you feel good to lift an unhappy heart.”

In a Pacific Island village, the peace bird flies around looking for children with whom he can share messages of love and peace. In this story, he befriends Tama and Tiana, who are caring for their grandfather since he is grieving the recent loss of his beloved wife. This is a beautifully uplifting story for children and adults alike, with stunning watercolour illustrations which show scenes of Pacific life.

Please note that these activities are suggestions which have not yet been trialled. We welcome any feedback on how they play out in the classroom (see the feedback section).

Activity: NOTES OF KINDNESS

 (Health & Physical Education)

Curriculum Level

1 & 2 (see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing

Description

 In this story, the Peace Bird teaches two young children that “kind words will make you feel so good.” He and the children make a plan to say something nice to their friends every day.This provides an excellent opportunity for children to do the same.

1. After reading the story, talk with students about how important it is that we say kind words to each other.

Ask:

  • What do we mean by kind words?
  • Why is it important to use kind words, and why should we do it every day?
  • What kind words did we hear being spoken in the story?
  • Can you think of some more examples of kind words you could say to your friends?

Children may be able to think of some real examples of times when they had kind words spoken to them, or when they said kind words to another person.

2. Introduce the idea of “kindness notes”. These notes provide an opportunity for students to give kind words to everyone in their class.

  • At Level 1, this may be done as “kindness words” – given orally rather than written down. Sit in a circle and choose 1 child to go first. Work around the circle and each child must say 1 positive thing about that child (they may need to be given some thinking time first!)

Examples might be:

“ You always help me when I get stuck in reading.”

“ You’re a really great dancer.”

“ You can run really fast.”

“ You are so good at maths.”

“ You look after me when I fall over.” etc…

  • At Level 2, students could either:

– write individual notes, which could be collected in a “letter box” for each student to read

– each student writes their name at the top of a page. That page gets passed around the class, and every child must write 1 positive thing about their classmate. The page then gets passed back to the person who’s name is at the top, so that they can read all the kind words about themselves.

This is a great lesson for not only boosting the self-esteem of students individually, but also for building team morale within a classroom setting. Students will begin to see themselves as part of a team, and to appreciate the special qualities that they can bring to their class.

Materials

  • paper, pens, pencils for writing

Curriculum Links

Health & Physical EducationPersonal Health & Physical DevelopmentPersonal Identity

  • describe themselves in relation to a range of contexts (Level 1)
  • identify personal qualities that contribute to a sense of self-worth (Level 2)

Relationships with Other People

Relationships

  • explore and share ideas about relationships with other people (Level 1)
  • identify and demonstrate ways of maintaining and enhancing relationships between individuals and within groups (Level 2)

Identity, sensitivity and respect

  • demonstrate respect through sharing and co-operation in groups (Level 1)
  • describe how individuals and groups share characteristics and are also unique (Level 2)

Interpersonal Skills

  • express their own ideas, needs, wants and feelings clearly and listen to those of other people (Level 1)
  • express their ideas, needs, wants and feelings appropriately and listen sensitively to other people and affirm them (Level 2)

Other Ideas

  • talking and writing about losing a loved one (English)
  • Creating water-colour Pacific Island scenes in the style of Nannette Lela’ulu (Visual Art)