Tuesday, 7 November 2017

'WAKE UP!' ~ Be Kind, Be Grateful

Two important dates occur every year: World Kindness Day (November 13th) and Thanksgiving, a national holiday (celebrated in October or November, depending on the country celebrating).

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The English Oxford Dictionary defines kindness as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful.

As parents and educators, it is our endeavour and our duty to model and express kindness and gratitude to the children in our care, and to reinforce these values and positive behaviours throughout the day. 

I am a firm believer in helping children learn through the powerful and effective medium of song. To that end, Kathryn & I created Wake Up!, to provide teachers (including myself) with an engaging resource to help highlight and encourage a number of core virtues in our students through song. Here is a sample:

As with all of our songs, the lyrics of this curriculum-aligned song target outcomes and learning sequences of curriculum documents. 

They are designed to help kick start class discussions, summarise themes and unit content, extend literacy, etc. 

Kathryn has a gift for making these curriculum-aligned lyrics come alive!

Once she has worked her usual musical magic, the songs become powerful tools for achieving outcomes, supporting & integrating classroom learning, and aiding recall of important information, etc. (they also solve the problem of what to perform at school assemblies!) 

'Wake Up!' incorporates the themes of empathy, mindfulness, kindness, gratitude, and compassion - core elements for building resilience and nurturing the human spirit.

'The narrative-style song takes students on a journey of self-discovery, through the eyes of a young girl (Kathryn's daughter) who is awakened to the world around her, and her place in it. 

The lyrics and strong visuals, together with the reflective-style music provide a powerful, tool for eliciting empathy, compassion, and gratitude, focusing student attention on these and other positive behaviours.

The downloadable, read, sing & learn along song helps students to see the positives in their world, despite the challenges they might face, and to understand they are able to reach out to others for support. 

The flow on from this, is a desire, in the students, to respond positively towards others by taking them into consideration when making choices, and to have an attitude of gratitude, helping students to develop a growth mindset.

Here are are a few simple, practical suggestions for reinforcing kindness & gratitude in the classroom
  • Start the day with a happy, kindness song to help create unity and a positive attitude
  • Incorporate manners songs to reinforce kindness, consideration for others, and other courteous behaviours
  • Brainstorm things for which we are grateful
  • Keep a daily Gratitude Journal of 5 things for which to be thankful...
  • Brainstorm ways we can show kindness to others at home/school/team sports…
  • Write a ‘Thank You’ card to parents & family members/school helpers/school crossing person/ a neighbour
  • Celebrate/write about happy experiences and express gratitude for them
  • List great things that happened today
  • Research kindness and gratitude quotes
  • Compile a class 'Kindness & Gratitude Quotes' book

Here’s to being kind and grateful every day!

Yours in singing to learn,

Nuala :-)

A Review:
‘In terms of application to the classroom, and usability by teachers they rate a tick in every box.’ ~ Brendan Hitchens, Teacher, Music In Action: A Magazine for Educators

 'A Lesson in Every Lyric'®


  1. This is so needed in our world today. As a former music teacher, your post made my heart sing. I LOVE the chorus to this song.

    1. I agree, Wild Child, and thank you for your lovely, kind comment!
      We appear to be singing from the same song sheet! :-)
      I'm a classroom teacher who has ALWAYS sung with my students ~ and still do ~ at every opportunity. Singing is such a powerful, effective, and engaging, learning tool!
      All the best with your teaching.