Committee for Children Blog

Welcoming Words—Activity

This classroom activity is a fun way to get kids on their feet and welcoming each other at the beginning of the year. It’s from the Grade 3 Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit, but can be adapted for younger and lower grades.

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Decide on an action, such as rubbing elbows, shaking hands, or waving, that students can pair with welcoming words.

Say: Let’s practice greeting each other with welcoming words and actions in another language.


  1. Ask students if they know any welcoming words in other languages. If students need help, use one or more of the words from the list below. Write suggested words on the board.
  2. Have students stand in pairs.
  3. Choose a student to model the activity.
  4. Turn to the student, greet him or her with your chosen action, and say some welcoming words in another language.
  5. Have students repeat Step 4 with their partners.
  6. Ask: What welcoming words did you use? Call on a few students at random.
  7. Say: Greeting each other every day with a smile and some welcoming words helps everyone feel included.

Welcoming Words

  • Ni hao (Mandarin)
  • Hola (Spanish)
  • Bonjour (French)
  • Ciao (Italian)
  • Zdravstvuyte (Russian)
  • Sawatdee (Thai)
  • Jambo (Swahili)
  • Konichiwa (Japanese)


Choose a different language each day and have students practice greeting each other in that language.

This activity is aligned with the Second Step Program and the Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit.

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.