Students are used to put-downs, but what about put-ups? This activity helps students see the positive things that their schoolmates are doing and gives them skills to affirm each other across social boundaries.
- Students will understand the difference between put-downs and put-ups
- Students will be encouraged to give others put-ups
Time and Materials
- One class period to introduce the lesson (After the introduction, “put-ups” can be an ongoing practice for as long as it is effective.)
- A pile of Put-Up slips available in the classroom
Ask students if they know what a put-down is and list common put-downs they hear on the board. Next, ask them if they know what a put-up is and give some examples by giving students in your class some put-ups. Examples:
“I notice that Myranda always has a smile on her face and is ready to help anyone with anything at all.”
“I really love how Augustine always reminds all of us to turn out the light when we leave the room.”
Use the following poem to introduce to young children how people are always watching what they do:
I am my schoolmate’s reader
He reads me when we meet
Today he reads me in my class
Tomorrow on the streets
He may be classmate or friend
Or slight acquaintance be
He may not even know me
But he is reading me!
Inform students that they are going to begin “reading” each other, finding positive things schoolmates are doing and giving each other put-ups. To make it easy for students to praise each other, they can use the Put-Up slips.
Encourage students in your class to “put-up” students in the grades below them so as to model good behavior to younger schoolmates. Likewise, encourage them to cross boundaries and offer put-ups to older students and adults in the school so that others can see that they are modeling good behavior to younger schoolmates. This lets them see that they can cross social boundaries of grades and age and make a positive impact on the entire school.
Have a special time during the day when students can offer each other put-ups. Make this a classroom ritual. Make visits to other classes where your students give put-ups to others not in their class.
Make an in-class bulletin board of the “I am my classmate’s reader” poem and hang all of the putups there for everyone to see. Even better, make the hallway bulletin board a place where the whole community can see the put-ups!