Last week my Sociology class were scheduled to study 'deviance'. Instead of focusing on crime, as per most literature, we focused on 'positive deviance' and extreme acts of kindness or bravery - e.g. Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela. For action research the class split into groups and completed 'Random Acts of Kindness' focusing on things that would deliberately be out of the ordinary.
Here's what they did:
* Gave out free ice pops (it was 30 degrees that day)
* Passed out pin badges to passers by
* Gave thank you cards to bus drivers
* Offered free hugs
Students came back from their outings positively buzzing. Although they had found some resistance (particularly the ice-pop group) they hadn't realised how much fun it was to brighten the day of others. I also pushed them to speak to people of different generations, races and gender to their own - this brought about wonderful experiences. Often initally sceptical students realised that, eventually, they won over most people with their kindness.
RAK day is definitely something I would do again - perhaps in conjunction with other subjects. Could maths students offer free puzzles to people? English students writing poetry for passers-by? Surely the options are limitless?!