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Humility Activities

by | Mar 25, 2020 | Activity | 1 comment

Divide into groups of 6 or 8 – it must be an even number. Ask each group to stand in a circle holding hands and count off in order, one, two, one, two. Instruct all the #1s to lean forward while the #2s lean back. To make sure that everyone is going the right direction have them just slightly lean that way. Once you have verified that they are correct then have them lean all the way into it. Make sure that they keep holding hands to keep from falling. Next, have them resume standing upright then lean the other direction. For a Math curriculum connection, have them count off from 1 to N and then use even and odds to determine which direction to lean.

To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
  • What did you think would happen when I described this activity?
  • Was it hard to trust when you started to lean?
  • How did you feel knowing that others depended on you?
  • Was it easier to do the second time?
  • What would you tell other people about how this activity made you feel?
  • Do you think this activity will help you be more humble?

This activity can be paired with the “Lean On Me ” activity. The song “Lean On Me” was written and released by Bill Withers in 1972. It has been performed and recorded by many artists since then. Let the students listen to the song after doing the exercise. Encourage them to come up with hand motions or body language that can be performed to the tune and then all sing/perform it together. If you’re brave, ask your students to perform the song for a younger classroom and then let your students teach the younger ones the leaning exercise. For a video of the song with lyrics visit

To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
  • Had you heard this song before today?
  • Did you like the song?
  • Was it fun to make hand motions to the song?
  • Will you teach the song and motions to anyone else?
  • In the future, will this song remind you that “we all need somebody to lean on”?

These words are words of gratitude and appreciation that we express to others. Using the word ‘please’, in a respectful tone, tells the listener that we don’t expect the action but are respectfully requesting it. Expressing gratitude with the words ‘thank you’ recognizes another’s contribution. When used properly, both phrases have humble foundations. Perhaps students can research how to say these words in other languages and make posters for the classroom. You could also write these words in other languages and have them guess which language and whether they are please or thank you. Has anyone heard them used, perhaps in the home, from a grandparent or even Sesame Street! You probably already encourage your students to use these words, model them yourself, praise them when they use them and patiently wait to hear them when they are missing.

Please
Spanish – por favor
French – s’il vous plait
Italian – per favore
German – bitter

Thank you
Spanish – gracias
French – merci
Italian – grazie
German – danke

Using sign language is another way to express please and thank you. Watch this YouTube video for please and thank you in sign language. The video also contains a short song in sign language.

To process this activity, ask these or similar questions:
  • Do you hear please and thank you a lot?
  • How does it make you feel to hear it?
  • Did any of the foreign words or sign language appeal to you to use?
  • Do you think that you will pay more attention to these two words now?

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How did these activities go when you used them in your classroom? Did you make any modifications that worked better for you? Share your experience below!

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