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Sneak Attack!

This time last year I was listening to a kid’s radio station on Sirius XM Satellite Radio called Kid’s Place live. I heard a great idea.
“Call in with your sneak attack of kindness!”
Kids from all over were calling in and telling how they helped their moms or little brothers. Some shared that they smiled at their grandma or helped a friend. They participated and noticed all sorts of little acts of kindness.
It inspired me to do a shared writing activity, with my then kindergarteners, about sneak attacks of kindness…what are they? We came up with a list and students illustrated their ideas.

I decided to do it again this year with my first graders. Since I looped up with the same class they were very excited when I told them it was time for this special project.


Day One: We began in the writer’s notebook to list some ideas that we could expand on later. It was important that the “sneak attack” be brief and to the point while communicating the kindness that took place. Students got to work generating and sharing ideas with one another.

Day Two: It was time to pick one “sneak attack” and write a short story. We talked about who was involved and what took place. Students wrote their stories and we were ready to share. We did quick revision with a partner to clarify our thinking and when the students felt ready they shared them with me so I could type them up on the computer.


Day Three: Illustrations began! Students busily drew their focused illustrations to show their “sneak attack” and present them to the class. Students came to the sharing circle to describe and share their work. They were so proud.


I love this project because it puts a focus on kindness. When we talk about how it makes others feel to be kind I find that more kind acts occur. My students will tell other students, “Hey, that was a sneak attack, thanks.” They point out “sneak attacks” to me and we celebrate those moments.

I hope you will consider doing this project with your students. Any age can benefit from having a focus on kindness. It doesn’t take much time. Connecting the importance of kindness and writing about it helps us hold onto the memory.


Betsy Hubbard View All

Daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, and writer.

7 thoughts on “Sneak Attack! Leave a comment

  1. I did something similar with middle school kids–8th graders–when I was teaching middle school…..Each day I had them write any acts of kindness they had performed on Post-Its that they could then put on a bulletin board. They filled the board with acts of kindness quickly and at the same time became aware of the importance of kindness. It was amazing to me how motivated my kids were to participate in this activity; I loved it!


  2. You are such a good soul, Betsy. Should your students ever choose to write poems about these sneak attacks, I would love to host them at The Poem Farm. Beautiful.


  3. You are such a good soul, Betsy. Should your first graders every write poems about their sneak attacks, I would love to host them at The Poem Farm. Beautiful.


  4. I love the idea of celebrating kindness in the classroom. It is fun to hear the kids notice the everyday things that they find kind and also to celebrate them with each other, encourage each other. I think I am going to try something similar around Valentine’s day. By then, my kinder kiddos will be writing more and they will also be studying kindness as a school as part of our character education program.


  5. This is a great way to intertwine writing and thinking about kindness. What fun that your students already knew about this since you worked on it with them last year. Did you notice greater sophistication with their sneak attack stories this year?


    • Most definitely Stacey. The stories were much more detailed. Short and sweet! Last year most had a letter or string of random letters. This year there were sentences! It’s been so fun to watch the transformation of this group over this long span of time. I can’t wait to see what spring brings.


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