Boasting, putting others down and acting better than others aren't behaviors that you want to see out of a child. With that in mind, teaching kids about the downfall of pride can help them to understand how to temper conceit with caring and show empathy instead of arrogance. From creative crafts to dramatic play games, activities on the perils of pride should focus on humility, honesty and accepting others.
Children, especially younger kids, may not have the know-how to distinguish arrogant prideful behavior with a humble sense of confidence. Help them to better understand the downfalls of pride by asking them to pick out the negative behaviors. Give at least three examples. Read the examples aloud for younger children who aren't able to read well, or type them out for older kids. The examples may include scenarios such as "Johnny constantly talks about how he's the best basketball player on the team," "Mary likes starring at her reflection in the mirror and telling her friends that she is the prettiest girl in their class, " "Timmy thanked his baseball coach for helping him to become a better player and learn new skills" and "Jenny laughed at Tim when he ran slower than her in gym class."
Understanding that everyone has their own strengths -- and weaknesses -- is part of humility. Teach children this concept through a dramatic play activity. Brainstorm a collective list of personal traits that the children consider strengths and weaknesses. Strengths may include intelligence, being a good friend or caring for family. Weaknesses may include vanity, getting poor grades or boasting. Assign two children a scene to act out in which one has a weakness from the list. Have the other child role play how to act toward the child with a weakness. For example, if you pick poor grades as a weakness, suggest that instead of saying, "You're not very smart, I'm much smarter than you are," the other child could say something such as, "I studied hard to get an A on the math test. If you would like me to help you study I would be happy to."
Honor Others with Art
Honoring yourself, instead of others, is a downfall of pride. A lesson in humility can include an art activity in which the students explore this concept. Create a portrait that honors someone special or someone who deserves praise. Ask each child to think of one person who has done something that is praiseworthy. The child can then draw a portrait of that person, paint it or color it with markers and crayons.
If you're not sure how to talk about the downfall of pride, use a book to tell the story for you. Make it an interactive read-aloud, and encourage the children to ask questions or point out key messages during the story time. Examples of books that teach lessons on pride and humility are "Frederica McFroodle: And the Truth About Humility" by Joanna Weaver and Tony Kenyon, "The Proud Peacock: A story About Humility" by Dharma Publishing, "The Heart of Humility: Teaching Kids to Put Others First" by Luke Gilkerson and "King Hugo's Huge Ego" by Chris Van Dusen.
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