This activity can be used any time of year or for annual campaigns like Mix It Up at Lunch Day or No Name-Calling Week to build school spirit and encourage intergroup relationships.
To help students recognize the effects of self-segregation, name-calling and bullying, the Unity Club and student government at my school organize an Inclusive Spirit Week. The purpose of this activity is to build school spirit and to inspire students to stop name-calling.
You will need a committee of students to help organize the activity and to develop spirit days that are linked to the goals of increasing intergroup relationships and eliminating name-calling and bullying. At my school, the Unity Club members and the leaders of the student government meet at least one month before Inclusive Spirit Week to brainstorm ideas for special days that fit the theme. Once a list is generated, the students vote to determine which five themes will be used for Inclusive Spirit Week.
Sample Spirit Days
Superhero Day: Students fight name-calling by dressing as their favorite superhero.
Everyone Counts Day: Students wear jerseys or shirts with numbers.
Pajama Pants Day: Students put name-calling to bed by wearing pajama pants to school.
We All Rock Day: Students wear their favorite concert or music shirts.
School Color/Pride Day: Students show pride in their school by wearing the school colors.
After the days have been selected, student representatives seek administrative approval of the themes, then announce the Inclusive Spirit Week days to the student body. They can make posters to hang around the school, provide flyers to teachers to place in their classrooms and have the Inclusive Spirit Week schedule included in the school announcements. Students enjoy seeing their teachers get involved, so you may want to ask your co-workers to participate at their comfort level.
This activity encourages students to come together to improve the climate of their school. Students will be able to see their roles in the school community and will be more open to discussions with one another about name-calling and bullying.
J.L. MANN ACADEMY
Additional activities dealing with group dynamics and accepting differences are provided as part of Mix It Up at Lunch Day.
This activity addresses the following standards using the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.
CCSS SL.1, SL.6