In addition to teaching monthly character education lessons in the classroom, it is fun to put on some school wide events and activities. I know what you’re thinking. This is something optional that sounds like a lot of work…I’ll pass! But really, these 5 activities are quick and easy to implement! They get the entire school on board and are actually a lot of fun!
1. Flash Mob
I’ve done this twice! Once when the character word was cooperation. Each of the participating staff wore a shirt with a letter on it to spell out cooperation. The second time I did it during Red Ribbon Week. Since it was a Primary School (TK-2nd) we chose to focus on healthy choices in general rather than specifically preventing drug use. It was a fun way for the staff and students to get up and moving. We also had our principal and custodian come out with “bee healthy” (our mascot) and Red Ribbon Week posters! The kids absolutely loved the flashmob. They thought it was so funny to see their teachers and staff dancing! For more RRW ideas, check out my post here.
Steps to ensure a successful flash mob:
Keep the moves simple so staff can easily learn them.
Plan it during an unstructured time when the majority of the students are around, such as in the morning when the buses are dropping off students or before dismissal. Recess is also a good choice but if your school has more than one recess you may have to do it twice, eliminating some of the “wow” factor!
Choose a song that is current and that the kids like. The Trolls movie was popular at the time we did ours so we used the Justin Timberlake song, “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” Find it and other songs that may work on my counseling Spotify playlist here.
Encourage students to join in and dance as you wrap up the choreography. This makes it less awkward and more fun!
Make it optional. You’ll be surprised how many people volunteer!
2. Photo Booth
Who doesn’t love a photo booth?! From weddings to holiday parties, homemade photo booths are everywhere now! I did one to celebrate the end of the school year, but you could do one for several character ed topics. These conversation bubble props would be perfect to customize and re-use.
Bullying Prevention: “I’m a buddy, not a bully”
Responsibility: “I am responsible for…”
Growth Mindset Phrases
Some fifth grade students of mine suggested we host a Bullying Prevention Run. It was great! The students pledged how many laps they wanted to run and then each student that participated got a rubber bracelet with a bullying prevention phrase on it. I got these bracelets from Oriental Trading. We also had everyone sign a banner. If students didn’t want to or were physically unable to run, they could cheer on their friends. It was during recess so participation was voluntary, but the students loved it. You could do a run for just about any topic; kindness, cyber safety, etc.
Tip: Keep track of the laps so you can share the grand total in the morning announcements or in a parent newsletter.
As I mentioned with the run, having students sign a banner for a cause is a great way to get everyone involved! Banners are simple yet effective as after they are signed you can hang them in the hallway, cafeteria, or gym as a visual reminder. Tired of always doing banners? Have students write their pledge on small strips of paper and assemble a paper chain. This serves as a symbol of unity and you can decorate an entire hallway with it!
Keep it Simple and Easy
School wide activities don’t have to take lots of time and energy. I literally came up with the photo booth idea a few days before. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime! And banners simply require a box of markers and a sheet of butcher paper. See if there is room in your budget for fun stuff like the bracelets and photo booth props, but if not most of these can be done with paper and a little music! For the flashmob you may have to meet once with staff to practice or you can send out a video with the dance moves online. Do what works best for you. Also, don’t forget that your small group students can help you prepare. Have them draw posters advertising the fun run or photo booth.
Yes, you have other more important priorities, but taking a few moments to organize a school wide activity is a great way to promote your character education program! Have you tried any of these activities? Were they successful? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know!
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