#StandTogether is about recognizing our diversity, embracing our differences, and coming together in solidarity to prevent bullying. This educational resource will offer practical tools, discussion prompts, and lesson-based activities for BULLYING, DIVERSITY, & KINDNESS
Bullying is one of the greatest threats to youth safety, security, and wellbeing today. It is the unfortunate reality that much of the research on bullying points to ‘perceived differences’ as the major culprit for such behaviour and interactions. As our classrooms continue to diversify, it is becoming increasingly important to
- address concerns about bullying
- promote diversity education
- nurture kindness and compassion among students
StandTogether Opening Icebreaker Activity: (15 minutes)
- Objective: To introduce the StandTogether theme and help students discover how our socks can help us learn to embrace diversity, stop bullying and encourage kindness.
- Materials needed: a pair of “StandTogether” socks
- The teacher requests a volunteer who is wearing socks to come to the front of the classroom.
- The student is asked if his/her socks match, and how he/she can tell. The class helps by offering helpful answers. (they are the same colour and pattern, they are the same size, they can fit on either foot …they are the same. So they MATCH.) Volunteer sits down.
- The students are asked to imagine they are a soc which doesn’t have a matching sock. They must look around the room and try to see if there is another “sock” that is exactly the same as they are…same colour hair, same height, etc. so they can become a matching pair.
- The teacher guides a brief discussion as they discover that there are no exact matches for any of the “sock people” in the class.
- Teacher holds up the StandTogether socks and poses the question:
- Why do you think these socks are a good way to help us understand that everyone doesn’t have to be the same?
- What else can these socks say to us when we wear them on our two feet?
Wrap up: Students pick a partner who they would like to be their other StandTogether sock and draw a picture about how they look when they StandTogether as a pair of socks.
Bullying is one of the most prevalent and harmful issues facing youth today. Not only does bullying make children feel unsafe, but it puts their mental, social, and physical wellbeing at risk. Schools are essential spaces for providing youth with a sense of safety and security. They are also critical to the promotion of bullying education. Bullying education is needed to prevent and reduce instances of bullying and to enhance positive interactions, inclusion, and safe school climates.
Using the prompts below, have a conversation with your students or children about bullying.
- It’s bullying when someone repeatedly does something on purpose to hurt you or make you feel bad, and it’s hard to get them to stop.
What are different types of bullying?
- Verbal Bullying
- Calling someone names
- Saying hurtful things
- Telling someone they are not your friend
- Physical Bullying
- Hitting, kicking, throwing things, etc.
- Social Bullying
- Saying mean things about someone behind their back
- Leaving someone out
- Making someone feel bad or upset
- Cyber Bullying
- for more information about cyber-bullying specifically click here (link to cyber-bullying resource)
How does bullying make people feel?
- Sad, angry, hurt, afraid, hopeless, anxious, frustrated, rejected, alone, excluded, worthless
What effects can bullying have on mental health and wellbeing?
- It can cause:
- Poor academic achievement or giving up on school
- Psychosomatic symptoms (ie. headaches, abdominal pain)
- Reliance on drugs or alcohol to cope
- Thoughts about self-harm or suicide
What should you do if you are being bullied?
- Avoid the person who is bullying you
- Ignore acts of bullying – don’t react or interact with the bully
- Refuse to let them hurt you, stand up for yourself
- Surround yourself with allies
- Tell someone – and ask for their help
What should you do if you see someone else being bullied?
- Be an ‘upstander’, not a ‘bystander’
What is a ‘bystander’?
- Someone who witnesses bullying, but doesn’t help. A bystander may participate in bullying by:
- Starting the bullying
- Encouraging the person who is bullying by laughing or giving them their attention
- Joining in on the bullying
- Staying silent and not offering support or reporting when bullying happens
What is an ‘upstander’?
- Someone who does something to prevent or reduce bullying. They may take different actions to help, including:
- Telling the bully to stop if it is safe to do so
- Helping the victim of bullying and showing them kindness
- Reminding the victim that you are their friend
- Reporting the bullying incident to a parent, teacher, or another adult who can help
What else can we do to prevent bullying in the classroom?
- Create classroom rules around bullying
- Be a friend
- Be kind, polite, and respectful to others
- Include everyone, make sure no one feels left out
The 3 Rs of Bullying
Use these activities in your classroom to help your students learn about bullying.
- Objective: To learn the three “Rs” of bullying: Recognize, Respond, Report
- Materials: Three Rs of Bullying – Resource handout, one of the books from Bullying Themed Books list, chart paper, marker, drawing paper, coloured pencils
Review Three Rs of Bullying – Resource
Choose from the attached list of Bullying Themed Books. For higher level, lengthier books, you may wish to choose chapters that best demonstrate the 3 Rs or develop further lessons to accompany a novel study unit.
As a class or in small groups, create a chart outlining the 3 Rs as they pertain to the story
- Recognize – note the bullying behaviour
- Respond – identify how the victim responded to the bullying behaviour.
- Report – determine if and how the victim or another character reported the bullying behaviour.
Follow up: Have students think about a strategy they might use to deal with a bully. They may write about or draw a picture of the strategy.
- Objective: To understand what bullying looks like including bullying scenarios and responses.
- Materials: one sock per student (plus one extra for the group if necessary for the scenario), assorted materials to decorate the sock (ie. googly eyes, fabric, string, pipe cleaner, markers, fabric glue, etc.), Bullying Scenario Handout
In groups of 3 or 4, students will come up with a bullying scenario. They should consider: who is doing the bullying? Who is being bullied? Is there a witness to the bullying, and are they an upstander a bystander? Is there anyone to report the bullying incident to? Students can use the Bullying Scenario Handout to plan their scenario.
Next, students will decide which of them will play each role in their bullying scenario. Then, they will create their own sock puppets using the socks provided and assorted art materials. Once the sock puppets have been created, students will have time to practice performing their scenario as a brief sock puppet skit. After they have had enough time to practice, students can perform their skits in front of the rest of the class.
After each skit, the rest of the class should be able to:
- Recognize the bullying behaviour
- Identify how the victim responded to the bullying behaviour. Identify how others in the scenario responded to the bullying behaviour.
- Determine if and how the victim or another character reported the bullying behaviour.
- Objective: To recognize positive, effective solutions to bullying situations vs. negative, ineffective solutions. To communicate effectively in pairs.
- Materials: Index Cards (one for each student)
Each student will come up with a hypothetical bullying situation that someone their age might face in school. They can write their scenario on the front of their index card. Next, they will come up with three possible solutions for how to deal with the situation. Two of the solutions should be effective, positive ways to manage bullying, and one solution should be an ineffective or negative way of dealing with the situation. Students should write all three solutions on the back of their index cards and put a star next to the answer that they consider to be the ‘correct’ one.
Next, students will pair up. They will take turns reading from their cards. First they will describe the situation, and then they will ask their partner which of the three possible solutions is the ineffective solution. The partner can guess what the ineffective solution is. If they guess the ‘incorrect’ answer, they should explain why they thought that answer seemed ineffective to them. Once the ‘correct’ answer is shared, the partner can explain whether they agree or disagree that this is indeed an ineffective solution. Discussions about ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ answers are as important to this lesson as are the bullying solutions. Remind students to speak respectfully with one another and to offer phrases such as, “I respect your opinion, however…”. It’s okay to disagree with someone—it’s how you communicate this sentiment that matters.
- Objective: To define and explain characteristics of bullying. To learn strategies for dealing with bullies.
- Materials: Bullying Scenario Handout
Review The 3 Rs of Bullying handout PDF here
Review what it means to be an ‘upstander’ vs. a ‘bystander’.
Break students up into groups of 3 or 4. Give students the ‘Bullying Scenario’ handout. Have them brainstorm a scenario in which someone is being bullied, and fill out the handout accordingly. Once they have completed the handout, have students practice role playing their scenarios. Finally, have students act out their role play for the rest of the class.
After each role play, the rest of the class should be able to:
- Recognize the bullying behaviour
- Identify how the victim responded to the bullying behaviour. Identify how others in the scenario responded to the bullying behaviour.
- Determine if and how the victim or another character reported the bullying behaviour.
- Objective: To reflect on the reasons perpetrators of bullying engage in this behaviour. To consider the impacts of bullying on mental health and wellbeing of victims. To consider ways to manage bullying conflicts and improve wellbeing.
- Materials: computer/laptop
Discuss the reasons why perpetrators of bullying might engage in this behaviour.
Discuss the impacts of bullying on the mental health and wellbeing of the victim.
Discuss concerns regarding the mental health and wellbeing of perpetrators of bullying.
Students will work in pairs to create two comic strips. Both comic strips will share the same bullying scenario, but one comic strip will focus on the victim while the other will focus on the bully. In both cases, students will reflect on the back stories of both the victim and the bully.
Students should be able to answer:
- Why is the perpetrator in our comic bullying the victim?
- What form of bullying is being demonstrated?
- How does the perpetrator feel after they have bullied the victim?
- How does the victim feel after they have been bullied? How is their overall mental health?
- Is the bullying reported?
- Is the bullying resolved? If so, how?
Remember, both comic strips should involve the same characters and should share the same bullying incident/s.
Use the site bitstrips.com to create 2 or more characters, to set the scene, and to tell the story. Students should be sure to include the impacts of bullying on mental health and wellbeing within their comic. Students may share their comic strips with the rest of the class.
Many children tend to see difference as a negative quality. They may judge one another for any number of reasons such as where they live, the clothes they wear, their sexual orientation, gender, race, ability – the list goes on. Diversity education is essential to creating equitable, inclusive, and bully-free learning environments. Through diversity education, students are invited to reflect on their own identities and the identities of others. They may learn to celebrate multiculturalism and to honour the vast possibilities of the human experience. They are moved from a scope of tolerance to one of acceptance, respect, and appreciation for others. Through practice, students can learn the value of diversity; they can recognize that our differences are generally a positive thing. The lessons and activities outlined below are designed for students to reflect on their positionality, to embrace diversity, and to recognize their humanity in meaningful ways.
Using the prompts below, have a conversation with your students or children about diversity and inclusion.
What is diversity?
- Many different kinds of people coming from many different kinds of backgrounds and experiences
What are some ways we might feel “different?”
- The way we look
- The things we believe
- Our families, friends, communities
- Our likes and dislikes
What is identity?
- The personal characteristics, beliefs, expressions, etc. that make someone who they are; self-concept
What are some of the aspects of one’s identity?
- Family, culture, community, ethnicity, heritage, education, hobbies, etc.
What is a community?
- A group of people who share something in common
- Members of a community may live, work, play, or learn together
How does diversity help make communities stronger?
- Brings different experiences, perspectives, skills, attitudes, talents, ideas, etc. to communities
- Offers people in the community a chance to connect and learn from one another
- Encourages people to grow outside of their boundaries
- Promotes awareness
- Being accustomed to people different from you reduces likelihood of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination
- Helps us to understand how our different lenses influence our perception of the world
What is prejudice?
- The prejudgment of or attitude towards an individual based on their membership to a particular social group. Preconceived notions about groups or individuals based on misinformation, bias, or stereotypes.
What are some different forms of prejudice?
- Racism, sexism, genderism, ageism, classism, ableism
What are stereotypes?
- A false or generalized, and usually negative conception of a group of people that results in the unconscious or conscious categorization of each member of that group, without regard for individual differences
What might stereotypes be based on?
- Race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, or disability
What is discrimination?
- behaviour or actions towards someone based on the social, cultural or racial group in which they belong or are perceived to belong
What are different examples of discrimination?
- unfair treatment of a person
- laws or policies that exclude certain groups, put them at a disadvantage, or even harm them
- harassment – offensive, humiliating or intimidating acts against someone
- sexual harassment- offensive, humiliating or intimidating acts of a sexual nature
- victimization – unfair treatment towards someone who has claimed or supported claims of discrimination
How can we prevent individuals and groups from being discriminated against?
- learn about other cultures, people, and ways of life
- recognize the value and importance of diversity
- create safe, equitable, and inclusive communities
- establish culture of respect and acceptance within communities
Use these activities in your classroom to help your students learn about diversity.The Safe Schools Story Book (Grades K-3)
➢ Objective: To learn about inclusion and to embrace our differences
➢ Materials: The Safe Schools Story Book 2015 edition (published in English and French by The Canadian Safe School Network)
Each year, the Canadian Safe School Network hosts a contest in which youth grades 5-8 submit stories about safety issues at school. Two stories are chosen as winners and are published in The Safe Schools Story Book. In 2015, the story book focused explicitly on inclusion and acceptance. Included in the story book are educational resources for you to use with your classroom to help teach the importance of inclusion, sharing, fair-play, and being a friend. To purchase the story book click here.
The Safe Schools Story Book Contest (Grades 4-8)
The Safe Schools Story Book Contest (Grades 4-8)
➢ Objective: To write stories for young students about safe school
issues such as bullying and exclusion
➢ Materials: Paper, pencil, computer and colouring materials are optional
Each year, CSSN invites students from across the country to participate in our annual Safe Schools Story Contest. We call for submissions from students in grades 4 to 8 to write about important issues happening in their schools. Stories are reviewed by the Canadian Safe School Network and the top 2 stories are chosen for publication in our Safe Schools Story Book! The first place winner also receives a $200 bookstore gift card. Both winners receive a copy of the published Canadian Safe School Story Book. Stories should be written for a primary school aged audience (kindergarten to grade 3) and should be a maximum of 1000 words. Themes for the stories should relate to The Canadian Safe School Network’s Values including safety, respect, inclusion, and kindness. For more information and guidelines for how to submit to the The Story Book Contest click here.
It’s Okay to Be Different (Grades K-3)
➢ Objective: To recognize and embrace similarities and differences
➢ Materials: ‘It’s Okay To Be Different’, by Todd Parr, drawing paper with sentence lines, coloured pencils/crayons
Prepare some criteria statements. Ask students to stand up if the statement applies to them. Examples may include:
o Who has glasses?
o Who has blue eyes?
o Who has a brother?
Discuss diversity and what it means. Break students into small groups and have them discuss ways they are different from one another as well as how they might be different from other people in the class. Next, read the book ‘It’s Okay To Be Different’, by Todd Parr. Have students come up with their own page for why ‘It’s Okay to be different’ using one of the ideas they discussed earlier. Example: It’s okay to have glasses. Students can draw a picture to accompany their statement. Once every student has created their own page, pages can be displaced, or they can be assembled into a classroom book.
Eric (Grades K-3)
➢ Objective: To practice seeing things from a different perspective. To discuss the idea of cultural similarities and differences.
➢ Materials: ‘Eric’ by Shaun Tan. http://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2009/may/13/shaun-tan-eric-story-pictures
Drawing paper with sentence lines, coloured pencils/crayons
As a class, read the short story ‘Eric’, by Shaun Tan. Remind students to observe the pictures carefully. The pictures tell us important things about Eric and are equally as important to the story as the text.
Ask comprehension questions including:
• What do we learn about Eric from the text? From the pictures?
• Why might Eric see things differently from his host family?
• Where do you think Eric is from?
• What does the narrator’s mom mean when she says “it’s a cultural thing”?
Have students imagine they are Eric and that they have just arrived at your school for the first time. What are their impressions? What might surprise them? Where might they like to go? What might they like to do? Keep in mind that Eric is tiny, so his interpretation of things may likely be different from ours. For example, for Eric, a water fountain may look more like a life-sized fountain, and he might be tempted to use it to bathe. Encourage students to come up with their own ideas about what different parts of the school might look like and how different items may be used.
On the board, write: “If I were Eric I would…” and have students come up with their own idea to complete the sentence. Next, they can write the full sentence on a piece of drawing paper and include a picture that demonstrates their idea. When all the drawings are complete, allow students the opportunity to view each other’s work and notice the various ways their peers imagined what it would be like to be Eric.
Classroom Diversity Quilt (Grades 2-10)
➢ Objective: To recognize aspects of our personal identities. To recognize similarities and differences within the classroom community. To have students see themselves as a unique part of a whole.
➢ Materials: Coloured Card Stock Squares, coloured pencils, assorted art materials
As a class, come up with a list of ways in which students are similar to one another. Examples may include: name of town where they live, name of school they attend, name of teacher. Next, come up with a list of ways in which students may be different from one another. Examples may include: appearance, family structure, beliefs, likes and dislikes, hobbies, etc. Explain how while we may have things in common with one another, we are all different, and diversity makes communities stronger.
Allow students to choose four different coloured card stock squares. These squares will be used to create their diversity patch. Next, encourage students to come up with four things that represent them personally, four aspects of their identity. Students will draw a picture within each quadrant to demonstrate these aspects of their identity. Once all students have completed their squares, assemble to create the whole patch. Students will reflect on the patch and how each aspect of their identity shapes the way they view and interact with the world. Then assemble all of the patches together to create a classroom quilt. Display the quilt in a visible place, such as a hallway or a classroom wall. Have students study the quilt and reflect on the ways in which the patches are similar and different. You may choose to follow up with a written reflection about the diversity quilt and what it means to be part of a whole.
Where does the Wildcard go? (Grades 5-12, with variations in follow-up discussion)
➢ Objective – to reflect on the notion of marginality, belonging/unbelonging, and place in society
➢ Materials – deck of cards (one card for each student), tape
Prepare enough cards as there are students in the class. Make sure that cards are shuffled. Any combination of cards will work, but be sure to include both Joker face cards in the pile. Put double-sided sticky tape on the back of the card.
Explain that this is a silent activity. Student will be given a card. They must not look at the card that they receive. Students will place the card on their foreheads so that their classmates can see the face of their card. Have students silently put themselves in chronological order. This should only take about 5-7 minutes. Observe how students go about this process. Be sure to note specifically how students interact with those students who are wearing the Joker cards. Once students are done putting themselves in order, discuss the following:
o How did you approach the task?
o How did you know where all of the cards fit in?
o How did you respond to the Jokers?
o How did the Jokers feel?
o Who might the jokers represent in society?
Zoom (Grades 3-12)
➢ Objective: To recognize the different lenses we use to interpret the world. To recognize differences in the ways we express certain ideas. To understand what it means to be part of a whole. To work together and communicate in effective ways.
➢ Materials: Pages from the book ‘Zoom’ by Istvan Banyai (printed on stock card), cut up pieces of scrap paper
Give each student a printed stock card from the book ‘Zoom’. Tell students not to let anyone else see their image as they take a moment to study the picture. Without offering prompt questions, have student write a sentence about their picture.
Explain to students that the goal of this activity is for students to put themselves in the correct order. They will silently move around the room with their picture, making sure it remains nonvisible to anyone else in the class, and they will only show other students the sentence they wrote about the picture to determine where they belong. Give students about 5-7 minutes to try to put themselves in order. It is unlikely that they will be able to meet the goal given the silent, single sentence limitation.
Next, allow students to walk around the room describing their picture to one another. Give students another 5-10 minutes to put themselves in the correct order. If students are still unable to put themselves in order after the allotted time, allow them to show each other their pictures and to put themselves in the correct order.
Ask questions about the experience such as:
1. How did your interpretation of your own picture differ once you had more information?
2. How did the way people wrote about their pictures differ?
3. How did the activity change once you were allowed to speak?
4. How does the meaning of your picture change once it could be considered within the context of all the other pictures?
5. What do you think are some of the important messages to be learned from this activity?
Have students reflect on the idea that everyone can be considered an integral part of a much larger whole.
Disable the Label (Grades 6-12)
➢ Objective: To discuss labels and their impacts
➢ Materials- sticky labels (at least 10 per student), 1 blue pen/marker for each student, 1 red pen/marker for each student (or enough for students to share)
Discuss: What are labels?
Begin by explaining that this activity requires the utmost respect towards one another. Pass labels around the room. First, students will come up with up to five ‘labels’ that they use to identify themselves. They will use a blue pen/marker to write on these labels. They can place them anywhere on their body that is visible, and they may decide if the parts of their body in which they place the labels are symbolic. Next, students will come up with up to five ‘labels’ that others have used to identify them. They will use the red pen/marker to write on these labels. Once they have identified their labels, students can go around the room and discuss their labels with one another.
• Why do people label each other?
• How do labels affect us?
• What are the dangers of labeling ourselves?
• What are the dangers of labeling others?
Empower students to disable the labels by contemplatively removing and throwing them in the trash.
Body Mapping ‘Isms’ (Grades 9-12)
➢ Objective: To learn about various prejudicial ‘isms’ and to consider experiences of oppression
➢ Materials: Banner paper, markers, tape
Body mapping is a creative, art-based tool that focuses on the body as a way to represent lived experiences. It involves tracing the body and using colours, pictures, symbols and words as forms of expression.
Before getting into the body mapping activity, discuss ‘isms’ – prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a particular attribute. As a class, come up with a list of ‘isms’. Examples include: racism, sexism, genderism, ageism, classism, ableism, etc.
Break students up into equal groups based on their interest in focusing on a particular ‘ism’. Prepare pieces of banner paper large enough to trace an outline of students’ bodies. Given each group a piece of banner paper, and ask that one student from each group volunteer to have their body traced on the banner paper. Remind students to be respectful of each other’s boundaries; they should not need to touch their partner’s body in order to outline their body.
In their groups, students will consider each part of the body and experiences of oppression as they relate to their group’s ‘ism’. They may consider the body in literal or figurative ways. Students will use markers to write and draw on their body map to express experiences of oppression. When students have completed their body maps, they can present them to the rest of the class.
Kindness is an essential part of wellness and positive development. Being kind can involve anything from doing good deeds and offering encouraging words to showing compassion and support for oneself and for others. When children and youth are kind to one another, numerous physical, emotional, and mental health benefits occur. Not only does kindness increase happiness and wellbeing, but it can enhance trust and belonging and allow individuals to develop meaningful connections with one another. It is important that kindness is nurtured in schools and classrooms so that children may thrive and develop into happy, healthy individuals.
Using the prompts below, have a conversation with your students or children about kindness.
What is kindness?
- Kindness is a way of acting and being. It involves showing yourself and others you care. An act of kindness can come in any size and lead to greater happiness, healthiness, and even social change.
What are examples of kindness?
- Doing good deeds
- Offering encouraging, supportive words
- Complimenting others, positive affirmations
- Acting in ways that show you care
What are the benefits of kindness?
- Physical –strengthened immune system, lowered blood pressure, better heart health, reduced aches and pains, more energy, improved sleep, improved digestion
- Mental – improved concentration, improved memory, improved creativity, better academic performance
- Emotional – reduced stress and depression, better coping skills, enhanced self-esteem, improved general mood, greater happiness and gratitude
- Social –reduced bullying, better relationships, enhanced compassion and empathy, inclusion, acceptance, trust, and belonging
Share a time when another person showed you kindness.
Share a time when you showed another person kindness.
Why do you think people are unkind to each other?
- Unkindness is generally not personal – it may reflect the way people are feeling about themselves or how they feel about their circumstances
- Unkindness may reflect someone’s inability or unwillingness to show compassion or empathy for another person
- Unkindness is an unhealthy coping strategy
- Sometimes, unkindness is a learned attitude or behaviour
How does kindness ‘ripple’?
- Kindness makes people want to pay it forward – when someone witnesses a kind act or is the recipient of a kind act, they may want to do a kind act too. Kindness continued to ripple out.
- It makes everyone involved including the person who performed the act feel good.
What is empathy?
- Awareness of the feelings and emotions of others
- The ability to step into someone else’s shoes and imagine what they are experiencing
What is compassion?
- The awareness of the feelings and emotions of others, and the desire to help them
What is inclusion?
- The valuing, respect, and belonging of all people
- Equitable access to participation and opportunities
Use these activities in your classroom to help your students learn about kindness.Friendship Pie (Grades K-4)
- Objective: To consider the qualities of a good friend.
- Materials: ‘Enemy Pie’ by Derek Munson, drawing paper, coloured pencils
Read the book ‘Enemy Pie’ and ask comprehension questions to ensure understanding.
Next, as a class make a list of the qualities that make a good friend.
Instead of enemy pie, students will make ‘friendship pie’. First, they will draw a pie. Next, instead of putting fruit, sugar, and eggs in our pies, they will put friendship in their pies. They will use qualities from the list the class made as ingredients for the pie. They can write the words and draw pictures to represent these qualities. Students can also put games, activities, and things they like to do with their friends in the pie. If there’s time, share your pies with the rest of the class.
Fill Your Bucket! (Grades K-5)
- Objectives: To recognize that kindness towards others makes us feel happier and more fulfilled.
- Materials: Book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids” by Carol McCloud, paper bags (one per student), markers, scrap paper
Read the book “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?”and discuss the key concepts.
- What does it mean to fill a bucket?
- When you fill someone else’s bucket, what happens to your own bucket?
- What does the author mean by the phrase, ‘don’t dip’?
- How can “keeping your lid on” protect you from bullying?
Give each student a paper bag and markers. Students will write their name on the bag and decorate it however they like. Tape the bags somewhere in the room where they can be accessed by students.
Fill someone else’s bucket – Each day ask students to come up with one bucket-filler for another person in the class. It can be something positive you noticed about the other person, an act of kindness you saw them perform, or something you like about them. Students can write the bucket-filler on scrap paper, fold it up, and place it in that person’s ‘bucket’ (paper bag). Come up with a system to ensure that every student received bucket-fillers.
Fill your own bucket – Next, students should reflect on how they filled their own their bucket that day. They can think of one kind thing they said or did, write it on scrap paper, fold it up, and place it in their own bucket.
Random Acts of Kindness Charades (Grades 1-6)
- Objective: To understand and to be able to identify acts of kindness
- Materials: Chart paper, marker, pieces of scrap paper, a bowl or other object to draw from
Brainstorm acts of kindness and record ideas on chart paper. Encourage every student to contribute at least one act that comes to mind.
Next, have students write an act of kindness on a piece of scrap paper, crumple their paper, and put it into the drawing bowl. They can choose to use an idea from the chart, or they can come up with an original act.
Students will take turns drawing from the bowl and performing the act of kindness for the rest of the class. If possible, they may actually do the act of kindness. For example, if the piece of paper they’ve drawn says, “Give someone a compliment”, then the student may actually offer a compliment to another student. If the paper says, “Help an elderly person cross the street”, they may ask another student if they Students can take turns guess what the act of kindness is.
Reflect on how it feels to perform acts of kindness and how it feels to receive acts of kindness.
Compliment Wheel (Grades 1-8)
- Objective: To reflect on each students’ positive characteristics; to offer specific, thoughtful compliments to classmates
- Materials: Compliment wheel, Positive Character Traits, pencils
Part of showing kindness is recognizing positive qualities in others. As a class, come up with a list of ‘Positive Character Words’. For a list of examples, click here. Next, arrange desks in a circle or in some way that will make it easy to move around the room. Then, pass out a ‘Compliment Wheel’ to each student. Each wheel should have the same number of parts as there are students in the class.
Have students write their name in the centre of the wheel. Next, have students go around the room and write a compliment in each person’s wheel. Students should have enough time to really think about the person and to offer a meaningful compliment specific to that individual. Students should try their best not to repeat compliments that have already been written. Once students have arrived back at their own compliment wheel, ask them to reflect on all of the compliments they have received. Finally, students can write a compliment to themselves to complete their wheels.
Encourage students to post their wheels in a place where they can experience the compliments often and be reminded of how wonderful and appreciated they truly are.