6. Speak kindly

"Speaking with consideration and kindness is at the heart of civil behavior."  --Dr. Forni



  1. Hand your student a tube of toothpaste.  Ask him to squeeze all of the toothpaste out.  Then, ask him to put all the toothpaste back into the tube.  Explain to your student that unkind words are like the toothpaste.  Once you speak them, it is impossible to take them back--just like it is impossible to put the toothpaste back into the tube. 
  2. Ask students to brainstorm a list of kind words, such as "like," "smart, "fun," etc.  Write all of the words on a piece of posterboard and hang these words where they can be seen daily.
  3. Hang a blank piece of posterboard on the wall.  Each time you hear someone in your group speak kindly about another member of the group, place a sticker on the posterboard.  Watch how your poster fills up with stickers. 
  4. Have each member of the group write his name on a slip of paper.  Put all slips into a hat.  Group members should take turns drawing out the names.  When someone draws a name, he must say three kind things about the person whose name is on the slip of paper.  You may want to record the kinds words for a rainy day.


Discussion questions:

  1. What does it sound like when someone speaks kindly?  What language do you hear?  What tone of voice?
  2. What does it look like when someone speaks kindly? What sort of body language do you see?
  3. How does speaking kindly help us to be civil?
  4. What is the difference between this rule and rule number 7, "Don't speak ill"?