The content on this website will be moved to a new home in the coming weeks. As this work proceeds, you may notice some changes in the way you will retrieve and display your search results. It is expected this task will be completed by July 31, 2016. After that date, you will be redirected immediately to the new home for the Multicultural Canada website.

Grade 1: What are the qualities and actions of kindness and compassion (lesson 1 /1)

This lesson can be integrated into the primary curriculum on many levels. While useful for Social Studies units on Self, Family and School, this lesson is also designed to address the Language Arts curriculum and can be used for teaching about making connections. This unit also addresses Social Responsibility and asks students to consider the qualities and actions of kindness and compassion. Archival Pictures are included for activities that ask students to develop criteria for compassionate behaviours.

This lesson may take a series of class sessions to complete.


It is expect ed that students will:

  • Participate cooperatively and proactively in groups
  • Draw simple interpretations from personal experiences, oral sources, and visual representations
  • Present information using oral, visual, or written representation



  • Read Crow Boy by Taro Yashima. As a class, discuss if Mr. Isobe’s actions were kind and compassionate. Discuss whether or not Chibi is treated kindly or compassionately by his classmates. Ask students: What does it mean to be compassionate? As a class, generate a list of qualities of a kind and compassionate person. Discuss if characters from the story have any of these qualities.
  • Break students into small groups. Provide each group with copies of the archival pictures. Ask students discuss what they see in the pictures, how it makes them feel, and what it makes them think of. Instruct students to comment specifically on the people that they see in the pictures: are they acting compassionately, what do their facial expressions indicate? Can we be sure that their actions are in fact compassionate just by looking at the picture? Their task is to determine if the people in the pictures are kind and compassionate.
  • Provide a copy of BLM 1 to each student. Individually, students will use the archival pictures to complete each section of the BLM. They are free to refer to or copy from the list of qualities of a kind or compassionate person generated by the class after reading Crow Boy. Encourage students to refer to the actions that they saw depicted in the archival pictures.
  • Gather as a group. Discuss which actions and feelings are compassionate and why. Ask student to provide evidence to support their answers.


  • Anecdotal. As students participate in the activities and discussion, take note of students’ understanding of how some images depict kindness and compassion through actions, and how some images could be interpreted differently. Take note of students’ understanding of compassionate as an action and a feeling.


  • Challenge students to find other images in story books, magazines, that do and do not depict kindness and compassion.
BLM 1.pdf48.27 KB