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Community Meeting

Smiling Is The Key

Note: This Community Meeting, and those that follow, gently introduces learners to the other core values not covered in this toolkit. Please note the designated core value and guide children through this brief introduction. The final cards in this section allows children to hear and make an association with all eight core values.


  • An old key
  • Chart paper or chalk/dry erase board—draw a large picture of a key, leave plenty of room on the inside of the key to list ideas

Greeting Objective

The learners will greet each other by smiling, emphasizing that smiling is the KEY to helping someone have a positive day. 


  • Students sit in a circle.
  • The teacher starts the greeting by passing a key to the person on the right.
  • As the key passes hands, greet each other with a BIG smile!

Use the following format:

Mrs. Yager (passes key with a BIG smile): “Good morning, Bev.”

Bev (accepts the key with a BIG smile): “Good morning, Mrs. Yager.”

  • The greeting continues until the key has been passed around the entire circle.
  • Conclude by emphasizing that smiling at people in the hallway, on the playground, in your neighborhood, etc., will help others have a positive day . . . SMILING is the KEY!

KEY to Kindness

Engagement Objective

The learners will list several KEY ways to be kind to others.


  • Share the definition of kindness:  Treating all living things gently with care and compassion.
  • Teacher explains that the key will be passed around the circle again; however, this time each student will state an idea of how to be kind to people, animals, or the environment when they receive the key.
  • Say good morning to others on the way to school.
  • Help someone with a math problem.
  • Give your dog/cat an extra hug.
  • Pick up the notebook paper stuck in a bush.
  • List the ideas on the inside of a large key (key could be drawn on chart paper, etc.)
  • Conclude by emphasizing that kindness is the KEY to helping others to have a positive day.

Extension: On a bulletin board, hang the large key with the classroom ideas written on it. Whenever a student does one of these kind ideas, they could hang a real key up on the bulletin board next to the kind idea. (Have a basket of old keys next to the bulletin board. You could also screw in a cup holder hook by each key idea, so students could easily hang their key next to the kind idea. You may want to add “Other kind deeds” onto the key.)


Finish up your community meeting by informing your students about the schedule of the day. Then end with this friendly reminder:
And remember, YOU are the Key to KINDNESS!

Family Connection

Send home the “KEY to Kindness” activity directions. Encourage families to focus on kind tasks they could do for each other at home. 

Download Letter

ASCA: Grade 1, PS:A2.7.   Know that communication involves speaking, listening and nonverbal behavior.

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