Games for Teaching Kids the Golden Rule

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The "Golden Rule," or "treating others as you wish to be treated," remains a high priority in student education. Whether students are in the early elementary grades or pushing toward high school, educators can employ a variety of games and activities to teach kids about respecting other people. Choose games that will help students bond and discourage airing past violations of the golden rule.

1 Draw it Out

Pass out the crayons, markers, scissors and paper. Before beginning, explain the Golden Rule to the children. Ask each student to draw a scenario of someone either following or violating the Golden Rule. Each student can then display his drawing and explain what is happening, if it is unclear to students. Arrange students into small groups and let them discuss whether each drawing is an example of someone treating others as they wish to be treated. If students guess correctly, award a point. The team with the most points after each person has displayed a picture wins a prize.

2 Acting Game

Each student can act out how to follow the Golden Rule for his classmates. Ask each child to write out a script for two different scenarios. In one scenario, a person does not follow the Golden Rule. In the second scenario, the person follows the Golden Rule. In the first scenario, a student might get angry when a teacher accidentally steps on his toes. After the first scenario, ask students what characters could do differently to follow the Golden Rule. In the second scenario, the student might react calmly and immediately forgive the teacher for the accidental injury.

3 Golden Rule Scenario

Split the students into groups of two. Ask each pair a question, such as, "If you were injured, how would you want your classmate to treat you?" or "What is one thing you have done recently that demonstrates the Golden Rule?" Ask each student to write down her answer to the question; her partner then tries to guess the answer. After this game, ask students if they noticed any similarities between answers.

4 Golden Rule Day

Select a day for the class to engage in "Golden Rule Day." Encourage students to do as many kind things as possible for one another. Afterward, ask students to write down or discuss the kind acts they did throughout the day. Ask students to explain how the acts made them feel afterward, or how it felt to be treated kindly by classmates. Reward students with a small toy or a piece of candy.

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.