Today (February 25, 2015) was the day we wear pink shirts to take a stand against bullying.
Because bullying (I would likely rather call it teasing) has been a HUGE issue in my classroom this year my class participated in this by wearing a pink shirt today (well most of us wore pink).
I kind of planned it all last minute when I discovered this resource was free on Teachers Pay Teachers (you should probably go and get it for next year... or just use it on another day this year). It was perfect for my grade 5/6 classroom but you could alter the poem to be shorter for a younger grade.
I saved doing this until the end of the day which is when my grade 5 and 6's get split up for discovery time (basically a religious class). I didn't plan it to happen that way and I wish my class would have been all together for it but I had forgotten it was Tuesday (which is the only day this religious class happens) but I digress...
I put the words "bully", "bullied" and "bystander" in a cup and had them pick a slip of paper without looking. Later when someone said theirs was so hard we talked about how a person who is being bullied doesn't get to choose to be bullied and so in this activity no one got to choose which role they would take on either.
Some of the words they came up with to use in their poems were amazing. One of the "bullies" said that she felt "powerful" when she was one (as in this girl wasn't actually a bully in real life... just for this activity)
We ended the day with me telling them to all wear a pink shirt the next day (today) if they could and having to come back to school this morning with a good copy of their poem on a pink piece of paper ready for our wall.
Then, today I found this article about the campaign and gave each student a copy of it and we read it together. Afterwards I had them summarize what the article meant to them in a couple of sentences and then had them finish the sentence starter "Some ways a bystander could help someone that is being bullied could be..."
We talked about how it is ridiculous for someone to make fun of another person for what they wear... what someone wears does not affect anyone else (normally) and we discussed that wearing pink would not actually stop bullying BUT it would show others that we are taking a stand against it.
On the way to work this morning I heard on the radio that 3 out of 4 adults will be bullied at some point in their lives so we also shared about how if you feel like you are alone and like you are the only person ever getting bullied that you aren't... and that most people unfortunately have to go through it. We did decide that we could try to lower that statistic however by not bullying others... here's hoping they remember that tomorrow.
Obviously I forgot to take pictures of their poems but I did snap a picture of me in my pink shirt this morning.
my students told me that it looked like I was going to a cross country event... probably because I was wearing jeans and runners. Actually, a lot of people commented on how casual I looked... I guess I normally get dressed up a little more.
Anywho, I'll try to remember to snap some pictures of our poems tomorrow and update this.
here is our hallway display with most of our shirts and poems