Character | Kindness

Kindness is demonstrated by heroes from across the globe in these featured films, art and stories. The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate is at the core of the character trait of kindness. Meet remarkable heroes through these films, art and stories, and create a dialogue with your students on the importance of practicing more kindness in our daily lives.

Kindness Lesson Resource
Credit: MY HERO

For Middle and High School Students:

Film and Story about Dr. James Doty: Winner of the MY HERO 2018 Global Educator Award in support of his efforts to promote the value of compassion in education and in the world.

Find out how an unexpected act of kindness changed his life. 


How an Unexpected Kindness can Change a Life

Uplift TV
Professor of Neurosurgery, James Doty, M.D., tells a touching story of how one interaction can alter the course of a person’s life.

Dr. James Doty

By: Wendy Jewell

James Doty, M.D., FACS, FICS is a professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention." - Kahlil Gibran

More films Appropriate for Middle and High School Students


Produced by:Kenza Kadmiry

Two girls from troubled backgrounds meet on a train and share a heartwarming moment that allows them to briefly forget about their situations. (6:19 minutes)

Emma Cushman: A Light in the Darkness

Produced by:Colin Caviness

Unsung hero Emma Darling Cushman, an American nurse who saved the lives of thousands of Armenian children during the Armenian genocide. (10 minutes)


Discussion Questions and Activity Suggestions

1. Each of these films, and the story about James Doty, focus on acts of kindness, big and small. Has someone ever shown you a kindness that had a positive impact on your life? Share the story of that person's kindness and what it meant to you with MY HERO.

2.  Emma Cushman is an unsung hero who saved many children's lives during the Armenian Genocide. Which other unsung heroes have had a positive impact through their courage and kindness? Share their story with MY HERO.


This short film linked below, What if..., celebrates an the Illumination Foundation, who practices kindness to people in their greatest need.

What if...

Produced by:Terry Campbell, Paul Leon, Noah Berlow, Rose Wolfrum, Amelia Iacobel...
This short documentary film shatters the preconceptions of homelessness, explores the ramifications of unstable housing for children, and provides a solution.

"A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees." - Amelia Earhart

Stories for Middle and High School Students

Anna and Victoria Mendez

By: Shannon Luders-Manuel
After the death of Daniel Mendez, his mother, Anna, and his sister, Victoria, created 2 Cool To Be Kind, an anti-bullying nonprofit for teens.

Welles Crowther

By: Sean Colbert
Welles Crowther, "The Man With the Red Bandanna," was a young volunteer firefighter who worked at the World Trade Center and rescued strangers during 9/11.

Jon Bon Jovi

By: Staff

Jon Bon Jovi is an American musician whose philanthropy includes The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which has "provided support for over 500 units of affordable and supportive housing in 10 states for thousands of people including youth and veterans."

Daniel Goldberg

By: MY HERO Staff

Daniel Goldberg created "Zoomers to Boomers" a collection of Gen Z shoppers who bring groceries to the Boomer generation during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara

By: Eric Saul
Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara believed in freedom and saved many Jews during WWII.


By: Kia
Joneice proved how strong a young girl can be to her sister, Kia.


Discussion Questions and Activity Suggestions

1.  Melissa Blake, as well as Anna and Victoria Mendez, found ways to combat bullying. Are there organizations in your school or community that combat bullying? Share the story with MY HERO. 

2. Joneice was kind and took care of her sister. Has anyone been kind and looked after you or someone you know? Share his or her story of kindness with MY HERO. 

3. Jon Bon Jovi helps those in need with his JBJ Soul Kitchens and Daniel Goldberg created "Zoomers to Boomers" to help others. Are there any organizations that help those in need in your community? Share the story with MY HERO.  

4. What can you do in your community or school to help others or combat bullying? Create an action plan, get others involved and share your efforts with MY HERO. 


The following film, New Together, is appropriate for all ages.

New Together

Produced by:Max Landwirth

After watching the following PSA, New Together, students consider a time they were new to something to gain a better understanding of how a person immigrating from another country would feel.    

Stories and Short Film appropriate for Elementary and Middle School students. 

At the age of 5, Hannah saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can. She had never seen a homeless person, let along anyone go to those lengths to feed themselves. Within a year, Hannah created the Ladybug Foundation to raise money to help end homelessness. Hannah selected the ladybug as her foundation’s mascot because ladybugs are considered good luck. She wanted this luck to transcend into her mission to help the homeless, whom she felt needed better luck.

Hannah Taylor

By: Madison from Canada

When Hannah Taylor was 6 years old she started the Ladybug Foundation to help the homeless in her community.

Hannah Taylor

This story about Hannah Taylor has text and audio allowing students to listen as they read along.

Sports Illustrated Kids of the Year

Produced by:Ian Orefice

Conner Long is nine years old and his little brother Cayden is seven. Cayden has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or talk on his own. Like a good big brother, Conner was looking for a way to help his sibling join him in a sports activity so that he could feel the thrill of participation, such as running a race or catching a touchdown. Connor had an idea for a sport they could both participate in – triathlons! 

Animated films celebrating kindness, friendship and individuality.

Fear of Flying

Ernie Berger
A young bird and a sea turtle share madcap misadventures in a coming-of-age "buddy" story.

Mig Said Series: Lets be Friends

Produced by:Pongo Kuo
Sometimes we all find friends in unlikely places.

The Chameleon's True Colors

Produced by:Carolyn Downie
A colorful chameleon learns to be himself in a fun song that celebrates diversity, individuality and friendship.

Elementary Students' Projects Celebrating Kindness

Sticky notes promote acts of kindness in schools

SPPRAK, a not-for-profit program in Terre Haute, Ind., literally 'notes' random acts of kindness by students, teachers, and staff.

Call to Action Kindness Project

Produced by:Gillum's Class

Students in 6th grade shared ways to be kind with 2nd grade children to promote a more positive culture in their school and community in Ontario, California, USA.

Kindness Letters Combat Bullying

By: Photo courtesy of Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach TLC Branch<br>Credit: Da...

This project consisted of the children picking a name of a fellow club member out of a bag and making them an encouraging card. 


Discussion Questions and Activity Suggestions

1. Hannah Taylor was only 6 years old when she started the Ladybug Foundation to help the homeless. What is a cause you believe in? What issue would you like to make a positive contribution to? Share the story of your efforts with MY HERO.

2. Connor Long is an example of a boy who has gone out of his way for his younger brother. Who in your family goes out of their way to make life better for you or someone else? Share their story with MY HERO.

3. What project can you and your classmates or school do to promote kindness in your community or school? Share your project with MY HERO

4. Write a letter to someone to let them know you appreciate them. Thank them for something they have done for you.



Art Celebrating Kindness: Appropriate for all Grade Levels

Who Is Your Neighbor?

By: Charles Harper

Spiritual Lesson: Kindness to all, is a universal virtue promoted by all faiths.

Raking Leaves

By: Doug Miller

Jennifer Porter's kindness is an inspiration to her family.

We honor those quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate is at the core of the character trait of kindness. Please share your story about a hero you know who shows the character trait of kindness by signing the MY HERO Guestbook. 

Link to the MY HERO Guestbook
Credit: MY HERO


Students in France participated in a MY HERO Call to Action project. They decided to concentrate in their school community and created an organizer of their efforts of being kind and helpful during the school year.

Then they created a film documenting their project. See their work below.


Kindness and Heroism

By: May Traboulsi

We decided that being a hero is about being kind and helpful.

Kindness and Heroism

Produced by:CM1

While taking part in the MY HERO Learning Circle CALL TO ACTION our class from France decided that Being a Hero is about being kind and helpful. 

Additional MY HERO Multimedia Resources 

Resources for Character Education

By: Becky Miller

The MY HERO Character Series: Resources on Compassion, Courage, Kindness, Perseverance, Forgiveness and Social Justice.

Social Emotional Learning Multimedia Resources

By: Laura Nietzer

Use the following stories, art and films demonstrating SEL Compentencies to enrich student learning. Discussion questions are included.

Organizer created on 8/2/2019 6:17:45 PM by MY HERO Staff

Last edited 1/26/2022 12:58:34 PM by Laura Nietzer