Committee for Children Blog

Class Meeting: Empathy Helps Stop Bullying—Activity

Grades 3–5

More people can be adversely affected by bullying activities than many realize, including bystanders who witness it. This class meeting template, which has been adapted from the Grade 2 Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit, prompts students to discuss how empathy can help them become responsible bystanders and help to stop bullying.

Download and Print


Help students think of times and ways they can use their empathy to help stop mean behaviors and bullying.

Introduce the Topic (1 minute)

Today we’re going to talk about how having empathy can help stop mean behaviors and bullying.

Prosocial Warm-Up Activity (2–3 minutes)

Before we get started, turn to the person next to you and look at his or her face and body. Can you name how that person is feeling?

Discuss the Topic (3–5 minutes)

Clarify the topic and give specific examples: When you think about how others feel when they’re being treated in a mean way, it can help you be brave and choose to do something about it. Today we’re going to talk about some brave things you can do to help stop mean behaviors and even bullying.

Generate On-Topic Suggestions (3–5 minutes)

Ask questions to help students generate and practice suggestions. Write main points, suggestions, and solutions on poster paper or a flip board so the entire class can see a record of important information discussed.

  • What does empathy mean? (Feeling and understanding how someone else feels.) When are times you use empathy?
  • Use your empathy now: How do you think someone feels if he or she is being treated in a mean way? What clues would help you know?
  • If you know someone is being treated in a mean way, and you know that person feels sad, scared, or worried, what should you do or say?
  • Now turn to a partner and practice one of the ways you can help someone that we just talked about.

Wrap-Up (3–5 minutes)

  • Review the main points of the topic and the suggestions made.
  • Decide what the next action for the class will be.

This week, pay special attention to how others feel. If you see someone being treated in a mean way, use one of the ways we talked about to help him or her. Thank everyone for participating. Have students turn to the people seated on either side of them and say something kind.

Like This Activity?

We’re adding more K–8 classroom activities to our Free Activities page all the time. They’re easy to find—just visit for grade-specific, K–8 classroom activities that align with our Second Step Suite.

Learn more about social-emotional learning, research on the topic, and how it benefits students in the classroom, at home, and in their daily lives.