How to Do a Wrinkled Heart Classroom Activity to Fight Bullying

Bullying is a serious issue that can leave lasting scars on students well beyond their school years. Educators regularly seek effective ways to teach empathy and kindness. The ‘Wrinkled Heart’ classroom activity is one such powerful anti-bullying lesson.

Starting the Conversation

Begin by gathering the students in a circle where everyone can see each other. Start a discussion about how words and actions can hurt others, perhaps reading a story that illustrates this point or sharing age-appropriate examples.

Introducing the Heart

Present a large, cut-out heart to the class—this will be the centerpiece of your activity. Before you begin, make sure that the heart is smooth and unwrinkled, symbolizing someone’s feelings before they have been affected by hurtful behavior.

The Wrinkling Process

Invite students, one by one, to come forward and say something mean that they’ve heard someone say or that people often say when bullying others. Each time a hurtful remark is made, ask the student to wrinkle the heart. Gradually, the heart will get more crumpled and damaged.

Discussion Point

After the heart is sufficiently wrinkled, take time to discuss how each insult represented by a wrinkle could hurt someone’s feelings and self-esteem. Ask students how they think it would feel to receive those comments themselves.

Attempting Repair

Now try to ‘heal’ the heart. Have students apologize to the heart and attempt to smooth out the wrinkles with their hands. No matter how much they try, they won’t be able to make it perfectly smooth again.

Teaching Moments

This step demonstrates a vital lesson: even though saying sorry is important, the scars of hurtful words can last forever and can’t be completely undone. This visual representation helps students grasp the long-term impact of bullying.

Creating a Supportive Environment

Encourage students to think about ways they can support one another if someone is being bullied or hurt. Have them suggest proactive measures and share ideas about building an inclusive classroom culture that does not tolerate bullying.

Extension Activities

To reinforce these lessons daily, consider additional activities such as:

– Creating an ‘Acts of Kindness’ board where students pin examples of kindness they experienced or witnessed.

– Making personal wrinkled hearts for each student that they can keep as reminders.

– Writing reflective essays or journals on how their actions affect others.

By integrating this simple yet profound activity into your classroom routine, you show young minds the gravity of their words and actions in a concrete way. The Wrinkled Heart activity is unforgettable for its tangible demonstration of emotional effects, leading students towards becoming more empathetic peers and creating an anti-bullying culture in your classroom.

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