Engage Your Students with Project Heart's Free Teaching Resources

August 22, 2023

As we prepare for a new school year, educators nationwide are seeking fresh approaches to not only cover core academic areas but supplemental ways to nurture their students. It's a time when teachers plan out their curriculum, focusing not just on the 'what' of learning – the academic content – but also on the 'how' and 'why' – the social-emotional skills and values that equip students to navigate the world. Given the recent challenges faced by students, teaching kids empathy, kindness and resilience have never been more crucial.

As educators nationwide prepare for the transition back to school, we've compiled a list of our must-have free teaching resources designed to promote social-emotional learning (SEL), kindness, empathy, and philanthropy among all K-12 students. These resources can be instrumental in fostering a learning environment that encourages students to connect with their communities, make a difference, and grow both academically and personally. Best of all, these resources are complementary and accessible to all educators, transcending grade levels to provide broad utility and impact.

Discover how leveraging these free teaching resources can lead to a successful, meaningful back-to-school season.

Kindness Activities for Kids K-6

Project Heart's Colorful Kindness cards are an engaging and enjoyable way to ignite passion in budding artists and cultivate an atmosphere of empathy and kindness among K-6 students. Implementation is easy and rewarding: teachers introduce the concept of giving back, then encourage students to exercise their creativity by coloring the cards and practicing their writing skills. These heartfelt notes, available in four captivating designs, can be delivered to local nonprofits, hospitals, or assisted living facilities, thereby providing students with a tangible lesson in empathy and kindness. This activity provides a fantastic opportunity to engage students in conversation about using their skills and passions to serve others.

Project Heart Tip: Colorful Kindness is a versatile activity that fits seamlessly into your lesson plans year-round, making it perfect for special occasions such as Veterans Day, the holiday season, or during a visit from a local charity or organization to your classroom/school.

Download Colorful Kindness Activity Cards Here

Empathy Activities for All Ages

Dive into the transformative power of literature with the Project Heart Booklist. This curated collection is an effective way of introducing philanthropy and the importance of giving back through the immersive medium of storytelling. Each book has been carefully selected to portray the spirit of giving and encouraging meaningful conversations about the value of being a giver in an age-appropriate manner. Whether you are an educator in a high school setting or a facilitator in an after-school program, there's a book in our list to resonate with your students. Leveraging the magic of stories, this resource connects students with the wider world, fosters empathy, and reveals the potential of making an impact through giving back.

Project Heart Tip: If you're a new educator looking to build your classroom library, our Project Heart Booklist is an excellent starting point. Plus, these books make for meaningful gifts for your fellow educators, equipping them with resources to effectively incorporate social-emotional learning into their curriculum.

Download the Project Heart Booklist

Service Learning Projects for All Ages

Discover the simple, yet powerful impact of giving back with our Blessing Bags activity, a perfect exercise in teaching kids empathy and the true meaning of philanthropy. These personalized care packages can be filled with snacks, hygiene items, or anything else your students feel would be meaningful. They can then be donated to homeless shelters, assisted living facilities, animal shelters, or even police stations - a direct way for students to connect with and contribute to their community. This initiative encourages students to put their creativity and care into each bag they assemble, fostering a deep understanding of the impact their actions can have on the lives of others.

Project Heart Tip: The Blessing Bags activity comes equipped with detailed directions and thought-provoking prompts, designed to encourage students to delve deeper into the process. Rather than merely filling a bag with items, students are guided to think critically about what to include, taking into consideration the needs, preferences, and potential experiences of the recipients.

Download Blessing Bags Activity

30 Days of Philanthropy Activities for Kids of All Ages

Immerse your classroom in a transformative journey of giving with our engaging 30 Days of Philanthropy activities. Inspired by the core principles of Project Heart, this initiative encourages daily acts of kindness and philanthropy over the course of a month. By demonstrating how small, consistent actions can accumulate into significant impact, students learn the profound power of their contributions. Participation is easy and impactful: each day comes with a simple prompt for an activity that fosters kindness, empathy, and a spirit of giving.

Project Heart Tip: We encourage educators to revisit this activity throughout the year or use them as a springboard to create your own tailored acts of kindness that align with your student's interests and the specific needs of your community.

Download the 30 Days of Philanthropy Activity

Embrace the New School Year with Project Heart

As we embark on a fresh academic year, let's reaffirm our commitment to fostering an environment that not only enriches the minds of students academically but also instills in them the priceless values of empathy, kindness, and philanthropy. Project Heart's resources provide an excellent avenue to seamlessly incorporate these elements into your day-to-day teaching, ensuring students grasp these important life lessons right from the start.

If you're already a member of the Project Heart community, simply log into your account to access these empowering activities. If you're yet to join, now is the perfect time to register and kickstart your journey towards cultivating a classroom culture rich in empathy, kindness, and a strong spirit of giving and learning.

Register for Project Heart for free here.