Being an Upstander means recognizing when another person is being bullied and doing something about it. But when it comes to confronting bullying, sometimes it’s a struggle for kids to know what to do. They aren’t always sure which words to use or what actions to take to stand up for one another.

Creating an Upstander culture in your school involves teaching important social-emotional skills like kindness, empathy, and understanding. And we’ve created this free printable, jam-packed with practical lessons, to help the kids in your life develop and practice the skills they need to become Upstanders.

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

Two Posters to Inspire Kids to be Upstanders 

Display these posters in your classroom as a visual reminder for how students can make a difference every day. In addition to ideas for spreading kindness, students will learn different strategies to stop bullying when they see it. 

Lesson 1: Understand what it means to be an Upstander.

This first lesson helps kids brainstorm what they already think and know about upstanding. Then, it moves into building the background they need to develop the compassion and empathy it takes to become Upstanders.

Lesson 2: Develop a kid-created Upstander pledge.

Once students understand what it means to be an Upstander, work with them to develop a pledge they can stand by. The more ownership kids have in the process, the more likely they are to follow through.

Lesson 3: Incorporate social awareness into a bully prevention plan.

This lesson will give kids the practice they need to define bullying and make good choices about how they respond. This lesson taps into important social-emotional skills, like responsible decision making, emotional awareness, respect for diversity, and learning to consider others’ perspectives. 

Lesson 4: Use literature to deepen students’ understanding of bullying prevention.

There are so many amazing books out there that can help you find the right words to talk about bullying with your students. (See our booklist below!) And no matter which title you choose, this lesson will help kids go deeper as they examine things from different characters’ perspectives, develop empathy, and learn from the stories’ resolutions. 

Plus, more …

In addition to our free posters and lessons, you’ll get a list of books to use in the classroom plus scenario cards for kids to use to practice their skills. The more resources you can use in the classroom, the better prepared you’ll feel to help kids learn exactly what to do to be an Upstander.

Being kind is a movement that celebrates humanity. When we value our differences and understand that we all need each other, our world can grow. We can’t wait for you to see how your classroom community thrives after becoming student Upstanders.

Get My FREE Upstander Printable Resources!

Thanks to our friends at The Allstate Foundation for sponsoring this and other SEL articles. Check out their resources.

Plus- 14 Inspiring Volunteer Ideas for Kids and Teens