Other STUDENT ASSEMBLY Topics
Overview of Student Assembly ProgramsAim Higher Diversity Assemblies Gr. 6-12
Bullying Prevention Assemblies PreK-8 • Gender & Sexual Orientation Diversity
Cyber Bullying Gr. 4-12

ELEMENTARY STUDENT ASSEMBLIES
for BULLYING PREVENTION
for (pre)K-5, (pre)K-6, and (pre)K-8 schools

Elementary student assemblies focus on age-appropriate topics and skills to help students recognize, avoid, and respond in positive ways to others. This page provides information about the topics covered in grade-level student assemblies, timing and scheduling of student assemblies, and combining student assemblies with faculty professional development and parental workshops.

Grade Breakdowns. The issues faced by students in elementary school vary by grade, so Spectrum Diversity LLC offers different assemblies for PreK-2, grades 3/4, grades 5/6, and grades 7/8. For grades 6-8, please also see the middle/high school assembly Aim Higher.

However, these grade break-downs can be adjusted to fit school schedules, and to take into account differences between schools in the onset of specific issues. For example, the onset of "friendship clubs" among students, a precursor of the exclusive cliques that typically develop by middle school, varies somewhat between schools and, within a school, might vary from year to year.

The PreK-2 Student Assembly "I Am Important" emphasizes positive social skills, including showing respect for others, understanding friendship, the difference between friendly nick-names and name-calling, responsibility for the well-being of others, the power and importance of words, fostering interest in diversity, constructive ways to stand up for others, and recognizing one's personal role in helping to maintain a positive, supportive environment for all.

The Grade 3/4 Student Assembly "Bullying is Everyone's Responsibility" emphasizes the same basic social skills as the PreK-2 assembly, but with greater emphasis on distinguishing real friendship from false friendship to provide students with preliminary skills to recognize and prevent relational bullying. In addition, this assembly teaches students when to tell an adult, and uses disability/ability as an example to promote positive attitudes about diversity and encourage students to reach out to others to ensure that no one is socially isolated. This assembly also includes preliminary skills to prevent cyber bullying and promote online safety; many students at this age are already communicating with others online through child-friendly gaming sites, and at this age it is important for all students to begin learning pre-online skills such as knowing what a "rumor" is, and understanding what kinds of information are "personal" and should not be given to strangers.

The Grade 5/6 Student Assembly "Making Your School Safe for Everyone" includes more explicit discussion of relational and cyber bullying, provides students with realistic strategies for responding to bullies, and emphasizes the importance of finding a trusted adult who can help handle problems. Students are encouraged to empathize with other students, including those who are victimized or isolated as well as those who bully, so that they can respond in constructive ways to defuse situations rather than escalate them, and they are taught to recognize and reject inappropriate advice such as "hit back next time." The assembly emphasizes student responsibility for school climate, breaks down the silence surrounding bullying by encouraging students to speak up against bullying during the assembly itself, and shows students how to create a school climate in which "bullying is not allowed here" and in which those who speak up against bullying know that they are not alone, but have the support of their peers. Note: The middle/high school student assembly "Aim Higher" is also available for Grade 6 students. "Aim Higher" covers similar topics and skills, but with a much stronger emphasis on respect for diversity and the prevention of bias-based bullying.

The Grade 7/8 Student Assembly "Making Your School Safe for Everyone" covers all the topics included in the PreK-6 assemblies, at a more advanced level. Students learn to take cyber bullying seriously, learn how to avoid cyber bullying others, and how to help a friend who is being bullied IRL or in cyber space. Topics such as eating disorders, suicide, social networking, sexting, and the legal ramifications of bullying are discussed in greater or lesser detail depending on the developmental and maturity level of the students attending. Note: The middle/high school student assembly "Aim Higher" is also available for Grade 7/8 students. "Aim Higher" covers similar topics and skills, but with a much stronger emphasis on respect for diversity and the prevention of bias-based bullying.

Timing and Scheduling. Multiple student assemblies for the different grades in a school are typically scheduled consecutively on the same day. Ideal lengths for each assembly are:

PreK-2: 30 minutes
Grades 3/4: 45 minutes
Grades 5/6: 60 minutes
Grades 7/8: 60-75 minutes

Many schools schedule professional development workshops and/or parent workshops, either on the same day or during the same week as the student assemblies. It is important that parents and teachers know what lessons their children have learned in the assemblies, so that these lessons can be reinforced in the classroom and at home.

Although professional development workshops on bullying & bias prevention & response are, ideally, at least three hours long, an hour-long workshop for faculty occurring shortly before or after the student assemblies can be very beneficial in ensuring that teachers have the background skills and information to reinforce and build on the lessons students received during their assemblies. Click here for further information about joint scheduling of student assemblies and professional development.

Parental workshops can help inform parents about what schools can, and can't, do to prevent and respond to bullying. The parental workshop is designed to educate parents about bullying, so that parents will be able to recognize small problems before they become large problems, be able to support and understand their children if concerns arise, know when to inform the school if they suspect an issue, and how to provide advice to their children that will be as consistent as possible with the rules and procedures students are expected to follow at school.