From M is for Mindful, written by Robin L. Flanigan and illustrated by Heather S. Jones. Used with permission.


Participants will be able to:

  • ponder ideas of how to show compassion
  • create a calendar of compassionate actions
  • become more aware of how compassion affects themselves and others
  • create a calendar of ways to show compassion

Target Audience

Children, ages 7-16.

Supplies Needed

  • paper to create a calendar that is large enough to write ideas in each block (or use a pre-printed calendar)
  • ruler for measuring and drawing the calendar blocks
  • pen or thin marker for creating calendar blocks and writing in each block
  • colorful markers for marking each date that the action was completed

Compassion Lesson

My neighbor called me recently. Sounding shaken, she told me she found an injured raccoon in the middle of the road and wondered if we had a pet carrier she could borrow in order to bring the animal to a wildlife vet. My husband and I ran down our driveway with our carrier, and found our neighbor and her husband, wrapping the raccoon in a blanket, speaking gently to the scared animal. The little bandit-faced being was loaded into the carrier and my neighbors drove all evening until they found a vet who would take him in.

My neighbor told me later that the raccoon’s leg was injured and he looked up at her from the road as if to say, “Please help me.” She said she couldn’t turn away.

This is compassion.

I began to think: How can we show more compassion in this world? How can we notice compassion? Showing and noticing compassion, kindness and empathy will lead us to a more peaceful world. So, let’s figure out how we might put them to practice.

Create a Compassion Calendar

  • Create a calendar with blocks for every day of one month.
  • On each day, write in something that you can do to show compassion for someone. (Some ideas will follow.) Fill up the entire month!
  • Once your Compassion Calendar is filled in, get started! Every day, look to see what you will do that day. It’s ok if you repeat some of the activities. After all, we’re all practicing compassion in many ways.
  • Each day that you complete your compassion activity, color in that day with a heart or a smiley face. By the end of the month, your calendar will be glowing with positive actions created and done by YOU!

Some ideas to add into your Compassion Calendar:

  • Write a note or a letter to someone who could use a boost of happiness. Maybe this is a family member or a friend who has been having a rough time lately.
  • Write a note or a letter to someone chosen at random who may be living in a nursing home or assisted living center. Fill your letter with positivity and kindness. I think it will make their day!
  • When you see someone at school sitting alone, go sit next to them and ask them about their day.
  • Do a chore for someone at home.
  • Help your teacher clean your classroom.
  • Lend a hand…whether it be with a classmate’s project or if you see someone who could use help carrying a heavy load.
  • Tell someone why they are special.

I’ve only suggested 7 ideas for your calendar. Part of the art of practicing compassion is to develop your own ways of thinking about how you can become more compassionate. It’s ok if you can’t think of enough to fill your calendar. You can always repeat some of them throughout the month. It’s all good practice!

As you develop your ideas, keep in mind that compassion includes:

  • connecting with others
  • listening to others
  • lending a hand or an ear
  • noticing if someone is having difficulty, and asking “How can I help?”
  • telling something positive to someone who can use a boost
  • showing someone you care

Once you’ve created your calendar, put it into action! I can guarantee that by the end of the month, you will feel really good about all you’ve done. Be sure to notice how it feels. And maybe you’d like to continue it for another month…or more!


“Sometimes people will hear you better if you speak from a voice of compassion instead of authority. They long to be understood more than to be lectured.”


“Compassion is the ultimate expression of your higher self.”

Russell Simmons

“Compassion is contagious. Every moment we choose compassion, we move towards a better world.”

Amit Ray

“Compassion is an action word with no boundaries.”


“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Dalai Lama

End Notes

This lesson in Attitude follows along with the book M is for Mindful, by Robin L. Flanigan. You can see my video Read Aloud with Barbara of this wonderful book here.

Image courtesy of Mindful kids Thrive

Thank you to our friends at Mindful kids Thrive, for sharing their book and giving us permission to create lessons around this beautiful collection of writing and art.

If you’d like to learn more about Mindful kids Thrive, visit their website at