Character education lessons, activities, and resources

Pillar: Caring

Purpose: Students will practice caring by writing a letter to a peer that details the good in that person.


  1. Students will reflect on the good qualities of their fellow classmates.
  2. Students will perform an act of kindness by writing a positive and complimentary letter to a peer.

Lesson Overview:  Students recognize their peers’ good qualities and learn to express compliments in a written “kindness letter.”


  • Container (coffee can, hat, etc.)
  • Small slips of paper
  • One writing implement for each student
  • One sheet of paper for each student

Have the students neatly write their names on slips of paper and deposit the slips in a container (coffee can, hat, etc.). Periodically select a student to draw a name from the container and write a letter to the chosen person.

Tell them that their letters should recognize positive things about the person, especially specific acts of kindness that the writer has noticed (not just, “you have really cool shoes,” etc.). Also, remind the group to watch for caring behavior exhibited by others in the group. Then say: Remember, this means others will be watching you to see if you are being a caring person or not. You will find that children often are surprised to read what a classmate notices about them.


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Adapted from the Sweet Home Central School District’s “Values Education Handbook” (Amherst, NY). Used with permission.