Value: Kindness

Time: 20 minutes

Appropriate Ages: 3-8


  • Book: The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper



  1. Read story. At the following points in the story, ask these discussion questions:


Do you think the shiny engine could have helped the toys?

Why didn't the shiny engine help the toys?


Do you think the strong engine could have helped the toys?

Why didn't the big strong engine help the toys?


Why did the Little Engine decide to help the toys even though she was small and it was hard for her to pull?

1. Ask the following questions:

  • How did it make the toys feel to be helped?

  • How do you think the Little Engine felt because she helped?

  • What is the lesson of the story?

2. Have the kids write a list or draw pictures of all the ideas of things they could do to be kind at home/in the classroom. If they are totally lost for ideas, get them started by suggesting the following: 

  • Cleaning up a friends' area for them

  • Writing a nice note for a friend and leaving it for them in a surprise place

  • Drawing a nice picture for a friend

  • Helping a friend with a chore

  • Helping a friend with homework

  • Helping a friend build something they want to build (a lego tower, origami...)

  • Playing with a friend and do the friends' idea

2. Go and do their idea!


Be sure to allow plenty of time for them to think of their own ideas. They will usually pick the ideas they think of themselves, so don't talk over their thoughts and just spout off all your ideas too quickly- they may not do any of them unless they are the thinkers!