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Kindness Creatures and Community Connections!

I was in the #whatisschoolchat about empathy (co hosted by and shared an idea about have a little/big artist exchange using kindness creatures. We can't take credit for the exchange idea it's been done many times in many different ways but typically it involves second graders developing a creature of some sort in 2D and high school sculpture students re-creating it in 3D then giving the 3D creature to the second graders, while making sure the classes can connect either digitally or in person.

Here's our Kindness Creature Lesson Plan:

Elementary Kindness Creature

By: Matt and Laura Grundler

SEL Connection

Recommended Grade Level: 1st or 2nd

Estimated Time: 3 to 4 days


The student will:

* Identify traits of kindness and reasons we need kindness in our community

* Create and/also animate a Kindness Creature in 2D.

* Identify the differences/consequences of kind vs mischievous behavior.

* Share the end product with school community, or high school sculpture class.

Essential Questions:

How can we demonstrate kindness?

How does collaboration help us to be better artists?

What responsibilities come with being part of a community?

How can we help our community through making art?

Art TEKS (Texas Standards):

1(A) identify similarities, differences, and variations among subjects in the environment using the senses; and

(B) identify the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, and form, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, and balance, in nature and human-made environments.

2(A) invent images that combine a variety of lines, shapes, colors, textures, and forms;

(B) place components in orderly arrangements to create designs; and

(C) increase manipulative skills necessary for using a variety of materials to produce drawings, paintings, prints, constructions, and sculptures, including modeled forms.


Drawing Paper




Paint Sticks












Day 1: Read story the Mischievians to the class. Discuss and compare the words mischief, kindness. Then Identify traits of kindness (teacher should list them on the board as students share them with the class) and reasons we need kindness in our community

Day 2:

Break kids into groups three. Give each student a piece of paper that is folded in thirds. Number each section 1, 2 & 3, vertically. Then students draw the head of a creature, filling the space in section one. Then students pass another member of their group, then that member draws the torso and arms, filling the space in section 2. The students pass the paper one more time and draw the legs filling in section three. Students must not look at previous section. When each section is drawn the paper will go back to the original student, he or she will open the final drawing and begin to enhance it’s features to create, texture and pattern.

Video How to Demo:

Day 3:

Review kindness traits and pass back the creatures. Brainstorm with students what kind things or roles their creatures can do or play to help someone else. Students will develop a kindness skill for their own creature and continue to enhance the drawing they started with their group. After students finish drawing their creature, they may add color with color pencil or fine point markers and then make sure to give their creature a name that goes with their kindness skill.

Advanced, Adaptations, and Modifications:

Advanced: Use the app imotion to create a stop motion animation.

Adaptations: Use the app chatterpix to make their creature introduce themselves and talk about their kindness skill.

Modifications: Reduce steps to allow student to build creature without sketching first.


Look fors:

Are students collaborating?

Were students able to demonstrate texture and pattern in 2D version of their creature?

Can students share key kindness traits/skills?

Were students able to create an “in the round” sculpture of the creature, that is constructed with craftsmanship?

Extension Ideas

Connect with a local high school sculpture class and have the students take the kindness creature drawings and make them into a 3D form (ceramic or soft sculpture) to give back to the elementary students.


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