Advisory Ideas

Advisory Lesson Plans/Activity ideas

Theme: Going deeper as an advisory to build a strong community that is ready to tackle difficult topics and to stop violence and bullying.

  • Advisors should do this activity with your advisory to model and show up as a human being too.
  • Also, a reminder to go over Community Circle/RJ Norms with advisory when doing these activities.

Activity/Topic 1: What do we bring to our community and what do we need from our community.

Purpose: to give students a chance to explain what qualities and values they bring to our community and what they need to feel safe and respected


Step one: have students create a name tent (fold a blank sheet of paper in half)

Step Two:  on one side have students write two or three values or qualities that they bring to the community (i.e love, friendship, listening etc..)

Step Three: have students write one or two values or qualities they need from their community for it to be a safe place they can share.

Step four: Share out

This can be done in many different formats such as a circle or partner share. If doing it in a partner format students should get a chance to share with everyone.

Activity/topic 3: Words that hurt/word burial

Purpose:  To engage students in a meaningful way about the power of words and establish words that won’t be used in a safe place.

Step one: “We don’t say…” campaign – post picture (PLEASE SEE BOTTOM OF DOCUMENT) of the Duke University  “We don’t say…” campaign and have student walk around and look at them. Students can place a dot on any poster they identify or agree with.

Step Two: have students brainstorm a list of words that have been used against them or words they have heard others use that are hurtful

Step Three: Pass out index cards or a piece of paper and have students write on one side words that were said to them that made them sad, hurt, angry. On the other side students write down words they said to someone else because they were angry, or sad, or hurt by them (if you feel comfortable you could have students share out any words they want too)

Step Four: Have student place their list of words in a “coffin” (a shoe box works fine). The idea is that once the words are buried they aren’t used in that space.  You can also have students rip it up and throw it away in a trash and make commitment to not use these words again. This can be a witness ceremony in front of a group. Use whatever action you feel is the most impactful and unforgettable for your students.

Activity/topic 5: Empathy–Learning dignity/Teaching respect

Purpose: to learn how to be an upstander with the power of dignity and respect

Step one: Ask students to share in pairs the following prompts (2-3 minutes each student in pairs):

  1. Share a time when you saw someone help someone else.
  2. Share a time when you helped someone.
  3. Share a time when you needed help and no one came.

Step two: Ask students to share out one of their responses with the rest of advisory group.

Explain that what they are describing is empathy (to know or experience what the other person feels; to see through the other person’s eyes what they are experiencing.) ASK: How did it feel to see someone help another person? How did it feel when you helped another person? How did it feel when no one helped?

Step three: Ask students to draw a picture of one of the three prompts to show empathy, and then ask students to share in a Circle what they drew and what it represents.

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