Whether we like it or not, students of all ages still face bullying in our schools and classrooms. The issue of bullying requires a comprehensive response. That’s why NIMCO, Inc. is committed to providing schools and classrooms with solutions to help combat bullying behavior. This article will discuss five anti-bullying activities you can integrate into your lesson plans to educate your students.
As educators, we play an essential role in stopping the problem of bullying from plaguing our classrooms. Globally, it’s estimated that one in every three children has been a victim of bullying within the past 30 days, increasing the risk of poor social and educational outcomes in childhood and adulthood. With the help of NIMCO’s anti-bullying promotional products and anti-bullying ideas for schools, you can teach students an important lesson in respecting others and themselves.
How to Teach Kids About Bullying With Activities and Resources
Bullying can only flourish in an environment where we allow it to happen. When educators and other students intervene, it’s much less likely to continue. Utilizing anti-bullying activities, ideas and resources can help create a kinder, more positive school environment for all your students and help them thrive.
Anti-bullying lesson plans that take advantage of team-building activities can help your class develop a social support system to protect vulnerable students. Additionally, integrating anti-bullying ideas learned through activities in daily classroom life can encourage students to prevent bullying and stand up for their peers.
1. The Positive Note Activity
Our first anti-bullying activity is enjoyable for students of all ages and is an excellent resource to help them learn about empathy. Encourage your students to leave positive, anonymous notes for their classmates. Students can leave their messages in cubbies or desks at the end of the school day so they can read them first thing the following morning. This anti-bullying idea provides classes with a simple way to spread joy and encourage students to see the good in others.
Teachers should develop a system that ensures every student will receive a similar number of notes from others.
2. Read Anti-Bullying Books as a Class
Anti-bullying week is held in classrooms across the world the third week in November. One of the best anti-bullying week activities you can do with your students is a reading hour to keep them informed about the effects of bullying.
To start, pick up anti-bullying books and resources that apply most to your children. You can break up your students into groups to read different books based on interest and hold a class discussion or make it a full class activity on bullying prevention.
3. Play Anti-Bullying Games
Anti-bullying games and activities are excellent resources to focus on violence prevention in your classroom. A few of our favorite games include Escape From Anger Island and Bullies, Victims & Bystanders. These anti-bullying activities encourage group participation, movement, team-building and other core concepts that hold excellent value.
Anti-bullying games and activities present essential concepts of kindness, respect for yourself and others and violence prevention in fun, meaningful ways that help reinforce your anti-bullying lesson plans.
4. Create an Anti-Bullying Tree In Your Courtyard or Front Entrance
If you’re looking for anti-bullying project ideas to which the whole school can contribute, try creating an anti-bullying tree for all to see. In our entire list of anti-bullying ideas for schools, this is the one where your kids can be most creative.
Locate a tree in a visible part of the school (like a courtyard or near the front entrance) and decorate it with anti-bullying messages and quotes. Students will have a chance to create and add their own messages of love, solidarity and hope to create a lasting symbol of acceptance for everyone to see.
5. The Crumpled Heart Activity
The final addition to our anti-bullying activities list is one of the most emotionally impactful ones – especially for younger students.
Print out red paper hearts for each student and ask them to picture it as if it were their own. Then, have them pass their heart to another student to love and care for it as if it were their own. Next, have your students say mean and hurtful things to the heart they were given, crumple it up and stomp on it (this usually produces a lot of laughter.) Have your students pick up the crumpled heart, turn to the student they received it from and apologize for being so thoughtless. After apologizing, have your kids uncrumple the hearts and try to make them as smooth as possible.
Students can now return the hearts to its owner. Have them examine and hold up their crumpled heart and ask them to describe how it looks. Does it still look as beautiful as it was before? How do they feel about the person who didn’t take care of their heart?
The crumpled heart activity demonstrates how every time a person verbally or physically bullies someone, it adds another crinkle to their heart. Even after apologizing, students cannot smooth out those crinkles. While they may fade with time, that person’s heart will never be the same. This anti-bullying activity effectively teaches children about responsibility, empathy and the importance of kindness.
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