Teaching the children to love and care for the world around them can help the children develop their skills in compassion and empathy which they can continue to develop as they journey from school into the adult world.
You can present the class with a range of learning opportunities which can help them understand the importance of treating other people fairly and equally.
Help the children understand how to show love for the school environment by getting them to take responsibility for an area in the school. This can be extended to discussions about how the same responsibilities can be applied to a national and global level so that the world can be loved and cherished for future generations. The class can explore the meaning of loving people, places and things to help them develop as rounded individuals ready to support others in their work and lives.
One of the best ways of helping the children develop skills in understanding and supporting others is by getting them to work as monitors responsible for different aspects of classroom organisation such as being charge of keeping the class book corner tidy or acting as the resources leader for their table or group. The children can show their love for their school environment by getting them to work in partnership with the teacher to maintain an orderly classroom. This will help the class understand some of the roles and responsibilities that they will need to develop as they grow and enter the adult world. You can select a special area of the classroom where children can sit if they require some help with an academic or social problem. Choose some children to act as monitors for this area so that they can respond to the needs of others who have requested some support. This can help the class fully understand their role as partners in the classroom.
You can teach the children how to care for the natural world by selecting an area of the school grounds that they can care for and manage throughout the school year. This can be as simple as a small pot of flowers or a patch of bushes in the school ground. The children can work in groups to maintain and develop the selected area. Leave out resources in the classroom such as plastic gloves, small trowels and watering cans that the children can use so that they can work independently throughout the school year caring for a small part of the world. Allow the class to suggest improvements to the selected areas such as planting some new bulbs or removing weeds so that they are taking an active role in caring for the natural world.
Another way of developing the children’s skills in love and understanding is by adopting a class teddy bear which the children can use as a pet to be looked after in school and at home. This will teach the class some of the skills that they might need to use in the future when caring for others. In the classroom. the children can take an active role in involving the class teddy bear in different activities such as joining the children for an assembly or listening to a story at the end of the school day. You can also select some children to take home the class teddy bear each weekend so that they can participate in activities with the child’s family. Allow some time on the Monday morning for the child who has been caring for the class teddy bear to share some of the things that happened over the weekend. You can compile a scrapbook to keep a record of how the children loved and cared for the class teddy bear at home and in school.
Wider the children’s understanding about how to love and care for others by involving them in activities in the local area in which the children can take an active role in improving and developing the environment. Look for opportunities promoted by the council and other local groups that will involve the children in getting out to work in the local community. You could develop links with a local care home which the children could visit and work with some of the residents such as helping in the garden or reading them some of the stories that they have written in school. Work with the children to select an improvement for the local area such as a new playground or road crossing. Get the class to work together to try and implement the change by contacting the council and other groups so that they can take an active role in loving and caring for the community in which they live.
You can use the children’s families to help them develop strong and supportive relationships with others. Look for opportunities in the school curriculum to invite different members of the children’s families into school so that they can practise skills in leading and working with others. For example, you could hold a special design technology day where the children have to build a model to solve a problem. Family members can then join the children to work together to make the model. This can help teach the children the importance of working with others to achieve an objective. Similarly, the class can get involved in preparing and baking some cakes which can then be taken home and shared with their family. Invite members of the children’s family into the school to work with class when making the cakes to help the children understand how they can take an active role in the daily life of their family.
Help the children develop their love and understanding on a global level by getting them to participate in some efforts to raise funds for different charities and events. Get the class to select their own ways of raising the funds such as a jumble sale or sponsored walk so they can they can take an active role in working to show love and understanding for communities around the world in need of help and support. The class can make links with schools in other countries around the world and work together to raise funds to support the partner school in different projects. This will help the children widen their view of the world as they realise how their actions can spread love and understanding around the world.