Activities for Learning How to Compliment

Bullying Prevention: Creating a Positive School Climate And Developing Social Competence by Pamela Orpinas and Arthur M. Horne is a rich resource for practical and effective anti-bullying programming. It’s chock full of research, programming information, resources, and some activities to build skills. Here’s one of our favorite activities from the book. These activities are useful for the classroom or for other youth programs:

EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES TO FACILITATE PEER COMPLIMENTS

1. Prepare one 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper for each student in your class. Write the student’s name at the top of the paper. Pass the papers around so that class members can write compliments on each person’s piece of paper. Before giving the compliments to the recipient, review them and make sure that all of the comments are positive.
2. Tape a piece of paper on the back of each student. As students walk around the class their classmates write anonymous compliments on their backs.
3. Ask one student to sit in the middle of the circle. Every student takes turns saying something positive about that person. Encourage students to look each other in the eye while delivering the compliment.
4. Divide students into pairs, give them a list of preset questions, and ask them to interview each other. Depending on the students’ grade level, the interview can start with very simple questions, such as “How many brothers and sisters do you have?” and progress to more personal questions that will help students get to know one another better, such as “What is your favorite sport?” or “describe something good you have done for someone else that most people don’t know about.” Later, pull the class back into one large group, and ask students to share what they learned about each other and to describe something they have in common.

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