This is a simple demonstration I found on that shows the permanence of bullying and unkind behaviour on people.

How I would teach this lesson:

  1. Provide each student with a piece of paper and tell them to crumple it up, stomp on it, fold it, bend it. The only rule is that students can’t rip it.
  2. Ask them to stop and carefully uncrumple the paper, smoothing out the wrinkles to the best of their abilities.
  3. Ask the students to reflect on what they see before them. Many will notice that it was hard to unfold the paper. It was hard to smooth out. They’ll notice that it’s dirty in places. They might see that the creases run so deep that they’ll never be smooth again.
  4. This might seem silly, but ask the students to apologize to the piece of paper. They’ll soon realize, ridiculous as it may seem, that their apologies do not erase the dirt, the creases, the crumples.
  5. This is a simple way to show a child that bullies another, that saying sorry after they’ve been mean doesn’t heal the scars that may stay with that person forever. It is important to be mindful with our words and to use our influence to build people up instead of crumpling their hearts.

Here’s a great video that demonstrates a similar message by Tony Brent

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Leave a comment below to share how you used and adapted this lesson for your classroom! I always get inspired by people’s stories and the things they do. You might just inspire someone today!

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