Monday, January 23, 2012

Crumpled Paper Bullying Lesson

Here is a little devotional I prepared about bullying/treating others as God would have you treat them.
The story/text came from here, but you can find stories based on this one if you type in the right search words (crumpled paper bullying worked for me). I actually first came across this activity one day checking out Pinterest for the first time--a pin told the story of a teacher from NY who did this. Whoever this teacher is, thank you for letting me use your idea to hopefully challenge and change a few minds.

Begin by  handing out pieces of paper, having every one create their name on one and read these verses:

Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Jeremiah 1:5(NIV)

5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

(Crumple and crush paper)

"The teacher gave each student a clean crisp sheet of paper. She then instructed the class to crumble up the piece of paper, toss it around, get angry with it, and stomp on it.

After which, she told the students to return to their seats (with their piece of paper), flatten it out on the top of their desks, making it as flat and perfect as they can, and finally, apologize to the paper.

When all the students had done their best to iron out the paper and apologize to it, the teacher picked up the paper on the first classmates desk, held it up so the entire class could see it and said:

If this piece of paper had been another person, and you had done all those things to him or her, by making them feel less than perfect (through your words or actions), these are the scars you would leave. That person would never be the same, no matter how many times you tell them you are sorry, no matter how many times you try to smooth things out..."

 As a follow up: I would talk about how we can never make the piece of paper straight again--there would always be creases left, no matter how many apologies were made. No matter how many crease we may have made in our own papers or in the papers of others, we could never take them back completely. As a Christian, there is one who already did this for us. He took our crumpled names and brought them before the Father. He showed the Father His wounds, He reminded the Father of His Love, and the Father made the paper new again.

A few more verse to read:

2 Corinthians 5:17(NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[The old has gone, the new is here!

1 John 3:1(NIV)

1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

John 3:16(NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 Peter 3:12-14(NIV)

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”

Luke 12:7(NIV)

7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

And a few verse you can read as you picture yourself standing before the Father, and He is saying to you that because He loved you and His Son already paid for your sins:

Song of Songs 2:2(NIV)


2 Like a lily among thorns
is my darling among the young women.

Song of Songs 4:7(NIV)

7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
there is no flaw in you.

And a video or two:

You Make Beautiful Things

Something Beautiful

How He Loves Us


Life with a Van said...

This is so great. I plan on "borrowing" it from you. Although, I may have to change a few things (like the Bible verses) in my public school class. I'll let you know how it works out.

deWoldeDaily said...

Thanks for sharing this! What a great visible lesson for the kids (and for adults too!)

John D. Nottingham EPS, PI, 6th Dan said...

Thank you for posting this. I also disagree with the permanent damage from bullying message and ask people to reconsider. I wrote about my views here and welcome questions or comments.