Pink Shirt Day, celebrated every year on the last Wednesday of February, is a day when educators and students join forces to stand against bullying. It’s a collective effort to promote kindness, empathy, and inclusivity in schools and communities, fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, respected, and supported. These qualities are not only crucial for creating a positive learning environment but also contribute to building a community and world where compassion and understanding are fundamental for the well-being of all.

If you’re stuck for ideas, I’m here to help! Today I’m sharing six engaging activities you can incorporate into your class for Pink Shirt Day.

Note: In my language classroom, I prioritise fostering strong relationships and imparting essential life skills to my students, equipping them to become responsible global citizens. Teaching Core French involves navigating a unique circumstance: conveying complex ideas without always having explicit vocabulary instruction. Consequently, the conversations in my classroom may occasionally shift between English and French. I embrace this shift as it allows for genuine engagement and understanding from my students.

This activity makes for the perfect classroom display. Your students will be creating a Kindness Tree.

On a bulletin board, draw or use cutouts of a tree. Include the tree trunk and some branches. Remember to add a title such as “Our Kindness Tree” or “Notre arbre de gentillesse.”

Provide your students with cutouts of leaves. They can all be the same kind of leaf or you can give them different types of leaves to represent diversity in the classroom (and the world!). These leaves can be printed on coloured paper or you can have students colour them themselves.

Have students write an act of kindness on each leaf. If students have more than one idea, you can have them write multiple ideas on the same leaf or give them a new leaf for each new idea.

Then, attach these leaves to the branches of the tree. You now have a Kindness Tree. Encourage students to select a different act of kindness to implement each day.

This is a really good, inclusive activity for the month of February.

Talk about “kindness” or “la gentilesse” with your students. Ask if any students know the word for kindness in a language other than English or French. Alternatively, have students look it up. The challenge? Try to come up with as many translations of the word kindness as there are students in the class. Then, have students write the words in big letters for display on a bulletin board. If possible, have students include small descriptions of cultural practices related to kindness from around the world.

Come up with 5 scenarios that relate to bullying. Write these scenarios on pieces of paper or index cards. Group students in the class and assign one scenario to each group. Have groups read their scenario, come up with a solution and then role play both the scenario and the solution to the class. Alternatively, groups can write their solution down on paper. In such a case, each scenario can act as a centre and groups can rotate between centres every 7-10 minutes, covering anywhere between 2-3 scenarios. As a windup activity, the class can discuss what they learned from the scenarios.

Don’t have time to write your own scenarios? Looking for ready-to-go read and role play scenarios that come with the necessary handouts as well? Check out this Read and Role Play activity, perfect for Pink Shirt Day, or any other day during the year! This activity is available in both English and French!

Have students create posters that communicate anti-bullying messages. These posters can be displayed around the school to raise awareness.

Have students include the following elements, at minimum, in their poster:

  • An engaging title that captures the audience’s attention
  • Some concise text in short sentences or bullet points
  • Relevant images that help convey the message and enhance the attractiveness of the poster
  • A call to action that encourages the audience to take some action

Looking to assess the posters your students create? Use the FREE rubric pack below!

A part of teaching our students to be active contributors to a positive school community is about teaching them the techniques they need as bystanders to safely intervene in a conflict.

Run a Bystander Intervention Workshop in your class and teach students about how they play a role in preventing and addressing negative behaviours.

Here’s a sample format in which you could run your workshop:

  1. Introduce the purpose of the workshop.
  2. Explore different scenarios that students might encounter in a school setting. These could include instances of bullying, teasing, or exclusion. Encourage students to reflect on these situations and discuss their feelings and potential consequences.
  3. Discuss barriers and challenges that students might face when considering intervention. This could involve concerns about personal safety, fear of social repercussions, or uncertainty about the most effective course of action.
  4. Talk about effective communication strategies that foster a positive and non-confrontational approach. Emphasise the importance of active listening, empathy, and choosing words carefully when intervening to de-escalate a situation.
  5. Provide students with the necessary information and resources which they may need to report instances when intervention may not be enough. Make sure that students are aware of the support systems in place and they understand the importance of seeking help when needed.
  6. Role-play some scenarios in which students can apply the intervention techniques they’ve learned. These scenarios can range from mild conflicts to more challenging situations, allowing students to build confidence in their ability to respond effectively.

Click HERE to access some ready-to-go scenarios.

If you’re looking to cultivate positive habits in your students, increase well-being, build empathy, create a positive environment, promote connections, encourage mindfulness, spread positivity and more, then check out this fun activity: a Kindness Calendar for the month of February!

With this Kindness Calendar, students will have the opportunity to perform 28 (or 29) random acts of kindness both within the school and beyond school (at home and in the community).

You can assign the calendar with the ready-to-go prompts or you can have students individually or collaboratively create 28/29 of their own prompts and put them into the blank calendar provided.

Which one of these will you try? Have other ideas you’ve used and would like to share? Comment below as I’d love to hear all about it!

Which one of these will you try? Have other ideas you’ve used and would like to share? Comment below as I’d love to hear all about it!