October is National Bullying Prevention Month! Unity Day, observed on the third or fourth Wednesday of the month, is a day to come together as a larger community to celebrate each other’s differences and the practice of acceptance and kindness. This day is often commemorated by wearing the color orange and engaging in activities that help raise awareness of bullying. To engage in anti-bullying practices, take a look at the following collection of Unity Day activities for your middle schooler.
1. Letter to the Editor
One way to connect your learner with social impact is to have them draft a letter to the editor. This can be written in your local newspaper or any website or publication you see fit. Have your students think about the problem with bullying and how the community can better address the issue.
2. Pen Pal Project
A major part of Unity Day is practicing interpersonal skills and fostering connections with others. Consider having your student join Peaceful Pen Pals to connect with someone who lives in a different place! Or, have them write to someone in the elderly community who may need a new pen pal!
3. Anti-Bullying Book Club
Connect Unity Day with your literacy study! Take a look at this list of middle school books that deal with bullying, and have your student conduct a study of the theme with you or other students while practicing their character analysis and other literacy skills while looking for a message of hope.
Learn more: Reading Middle Grade
4. Bystander Study
Understanding the detrimental role of a bystander is integral to your students’ greater understanding of bullying. Take a look at these activities centered around the bystander to ensure your student becomes an upstander and active leader in their community.
Learn more: Committee for Children
5. Mirror Affirmations
Victims of bullying often take a hit on their self-esteem. Remind your student about their strengths by trying this mirror affirmation activity! This is a great opportunity to brainstorm their uniqueness and can be a great staple to keep in the classroom. Add to their toolbox of positive messages!
Learn more: Let’s Reach Success
6. Bucket Filler Fun
This book delivers a beautiful message of kindness and lends itself to a ton of DIY activities. After reading Have You Filled a Bucket Today? think about creating your own physical bucket that your students can fill with good deeds.
Learn more: Bucket Fillers by Carol McCloud
7. Conflict Resolution Practice
Practicing conflict resolution is one way to prepare your student to stop bullying in its tracks. Take a look at KidsHealth’s guide to teaching conflict resolution to help your learner build some integral interpersonal skills to help them navigate middle school.
Learn more: Kids Health in the Classroom
8. Mosaic of Differences
This arts and crafts project, Mosaic of Differences, helps learners visualize the beauty of differences. Be sure to adapt to your particular learning environment and feel free to bring in the whole family to this activity! Grab some color markers, scissors, and paper to build a powerful message about the meaning of unity.
Learn more: UN ODC
9. Anti-Bullying Film Study
Follow this guide to studying the representation of bullying in beloved films. This can promote excellent conversations and allow your learners to reflect on how society perceives and represents this major issue. This also allows students to practice their literacy skills through varied media.
Learn more: Education World
10. Cyberbullying Discussion
Cyberbullying is sadly all but pervasive in today’s technologically advanced society. Walk your student through this activity, Don’t@Me, to look closely at the serious consequences of this issue and to help them navigate solutions.
Learn more: Ditch the Label
11. Bullying Behavior Investigation
What really motivates a bully? Where are they coming from and why do they do what they do? Take a look at Ditch the Label’s “Behind the Bully” activity to start this conversation.
Learn more: Ditch the Label
12. Support System Builder
One way to develop action plans to address a bullying situation is to ensure they understand their personal support system. Clearly outlining people they can trust, confide in, and turn to is incredibly effective in preventing a bullying scenario from snowballing and helps build strong communication skills.
Learn more: Social Emotional Workshop
13. Understanding Stereotypes
A lot of bullying behavior is anchored in the perpetuation of stereotypes and the experience of labeling others for outward appearances. Help your learner better understand the role of prejudice and stereotypes with this Equality Human Rights activity.
Learn more: Pinterest
14. Creating a Social Contract
Committing to kindness and anti-bullying practices is an excellent step in addressing the issue of bullying. Have your student concretize their ideas into a social contract. This activity can be adapted to your environment, focusing instead on your learner’s daily behavior rather than centering on classroom conduct.
Learn more: Teach Starter
15. Random Acts of Kindness
Dress in the color orange and take a field trip out into the world to complete some random acts of kindness! This will allow you to set an example of practicing empathy, kindness, and acceptance in your daily life. Take a look at this beneficial resource of possible acts!
Learn more: Random Acts of Kindness