The Spirited School Counselor

Be a Rainbow: cross-walking standards to create a lesson on kindness


MayaA few weeks ago I was substitute teaching in a local middle school. When the teacher had a planning period I was asked to visit the library to help out. I was happy to go since libraries are one of my most treasured places and I also knew its a very busy time for them since all the books that are currently checked out are all being returned at once . This day also happened to be 2 days after the great Dr. Maya Angelou passed away. It was such a great opportunity for me to be in the library that day as the librarian had prepared a beautiful lesson on one of my favorite authors. She showed students this video and I couldn’t help but think that this would make a wonderful lesson in a school counseling program as well.


The librarian spoke about Maya. She shared some of her life story, several videos of poems she had written, and she ended her lesson with this thought: be a rainbow in someone else’s life.

What a powerful message! 

Slide1As I shelved books and listened to the lesson for a second time I could see how a school counselor could work with librarians and English teachers to crosswalk this lesson. Our counseling standards could be incorporated by adding in a conversation about how someone has been a rainbow to them in the past or how they plan to be a rainbow to someone they know. Students could write a letter thanking another person for being a rainbow. At the end of the school year you could encourage students to write to someone who had made a difference in their life over the course of that school year – whether that is a teacher, a coach, a friend, an administrator, the resource office, the nurse… the list could go on and on. You can find a lesson that I created based on these ideas on my online portfolio here.

How would you use Maya Angelou’s message in your counseling program?
What other authors have inspired your lessons?

Thanks for stopping by!





Author: thespiritedschoolcounselor

Hey there! I started blogging about my experiences through graduate school and now have continued as a working school counselor. I am currently working in an elementary school but try hard to keep up-to-date on all things school counselor, as well as topics in education. I hope to share ideas, document what I am doing, network, be inspired, inspire, and collaborate with others through this blog. My professional portfolio can be found here: Thanks for stopping by!

2 thoughts on “Be a Rainbow: cross-walking standards to create a lesson on kindness

  1. I recently created a lesson plan using this exact video. I borrowed a lesson I saw on Pinterest and made it my own. I wrote many hurtful names and phrases on the white board and talked about how these words make you feel. I then invited the students up to erase one word and replace it with a kind word that they may say to a friend that is dealing with something. The words were written in black marker and the students used colorful markers to replace the words. At the end, we had a rainbow of kind words and a few still in black to show that even though we cannot erase all of the bad, we can add enough to make it not too bad. I followed this lesson up with this video and handed out rainbow coloring pages to the students. They were to write their name in the cloud and pass their rainbow around for the other students to color in and write something nice about that student in the colors.

    • Somehow I missed your comment Melissa. I think I have seen that Pinterest lesson you are referring to and have adapted it myself. I love the way you incorporated the Be a Rainbow into your lesson! Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s