A great activity for talking to your kids about bullying and the effect mean words can have on a person.
You might like to read the story Chrysanthemum. As you read the book, pass around the large paper heart.
Each time Chrysanthemum was teased because of her name, scrunch up the heart.
Every time someone did something nice to her, try to smooth it out.
By the end of the story talk about what the heart looks like and the wrinkles could never be completely smoothed out.
Hopefully your students get the connection that their own hearts feel wrinkled and crumpled when not so nice things are said to them. You may like to put bandaids on the heart as a way to show that they can own their mistakes and apologise (with each students name on a bandaid).
The heart will probably still be wrinkled, but it is healing.
Add the poem to the middle of the heart and display around the room.
You could also use the heart and everyone goes around the circle saying something someone has done or said to them to upset their heart and make them sad.
Each person scrunches a bit of the heart as they do this.
Afterwards they go back around and say something they could do to fix the heart. As they do this they try to smooth a piece out. After the heart has been smoothed out, ask the children, “Is the heart all fixed now?” Some kids might say yes while others might say “no, because it’s still kind of wrinkled.”
Ask them how do you think this person feels now? Discuss that although we have tried to fix the heart, the hurt is still there. Even when we say we’re sorry, people still remember the hurtful things we did.
This can lead into a discussion about thinking before we before we speak and trying to prevent someone feeling this way. Afterwards you may like to draw and write about how they can be a good friend and prevent bullying. Or on the provided template draw in the heart and then write underneath how we can prevent a wrinkled heart.
Also included are little template as you might like to either make bangles, necklaces or badges to take home to remind them.