Kindness Continued: More Tools for Boosting Empathy with Poetry

As an educator and children's writer, I'm always looking for new ways to cultivate kindness with kids.  

That's why I wrote the book, Kindness is a Kite String. In it, I list attainable acts of kindness and show how they make a big difference in a community. In a world that can feel unpredictable, being kind is something kids can control.  

Each action in Kindness is a Kite String is described using a simile or metaphor. For example, "Kindness is an open door to welcome others through." 

As a writer and teacher, I know the power of similes and metaphors. They inspire mental pictures and unlock readers' imaginations. Similes and metaphors build connections that promote understanding. In this previous post, I share ideas for using Kindness is a Kite String to write a collective metaphor poem with a class of students.

To continue the kindness vibe, I've created some resources to help students write their own individual metaphor poems about kindness. 

First, I have students think of different activities and objects that make them happy. I ask them to list their ideas on this KINDNESS POEM BRAINSTORM chart. (I emphasize that brainstorming is an important step that authors take to explore ideas before they write.) For each idea, I ask students to think about what it shares in common with kindness.

Next, I give students this METAPHOR POEM TEMPLATE. I invite students to create a poem using the template. I encourage them to choose the best ideas from their brainstorm and add specific, visual descriptions.  

Metaphor Poem Template

Here's a poem a class of second and third grades created using the template:

Kindness is… a cuddly kitten- it makes you feel warm and cozy. Kindness is… a trampoline bouncing happiness from one person to another. Kindness is… Lego bricks because kind deeds build on one another. Kindness is… a bowl of popcorn because it’s meant to

The template can be adapted to write metaphor poems about other abstract ideas too. For example, I had one group of students write metaphor poems about HOME. ("Home is a cozy kitchen table that everyone fits around."

I hope these resources help you continue the kindness chain in your classrooms and homes!

Discover even more POETRY BOOST resources HERE,  and don't forget to sign up for the POETRY BOOST newsletter to stay updated on new poetry lessons, prompts, and mentor texts. 

About Michelle Schaub

Michelle Schaub is an educator and award-winning children's poet. She is the author of the picture book poetry collections Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market, (which won the 2018 Growing Good Kids Award and 2019 Northern Lights Book Award,) and Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections. She is also the author of two picture books in verse, the bedtime STEM book Dream Big, Little Scientists and Kindness is a Kite String: The Uplifting Power of Empathy. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including  A World Full of Poems and Hop to It: Poems to Get You Moving.  Michelle loves visiting schools and speaking at conferences on the power of poetry to boost literacy. Find out more at: