SPARKLERS / Kindness & friendship

Being Brave for Others

This is an extension to the activity There for Me, reflecting on friendships, people who are there for us, and who we are (and can be) for them.
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Pink Shirt Day


Print me

Print one Being Brave for Others Worksheet per student. As a note it's the same worksheet as the There For Me activity.

Why we love it

Connecting with others is a fundamental human need – we all need people in our lives we care about, and who care about us too.

This activity focuses on being an ‘Upstander’ when bullying occurs. It’s all about who we are as friends, and as peers when we provide support for others, and when they provide support for us.

Tikanga tips

Māori and Pasifika tamariki may refer to ‘friends’ as extended family or whānau – friends may be referred to as ‘sisters’ or ‘brothers’. The names don’t matter at all – this activity can include family and whānau relationships based on aroha, manaakitanga and tautoko.

What to do

Complete the There For Me activity then move on to this activity.

As a note - For older tamariki it may be important to emphasise that ‘having someone’s back’ doesn’t mean covering up for them.

Let tamariki know this is an activity which focuses on having someone’s back specifically when bullying is occurring.


  • Why is “covering” for our friends who engage in bullying behaviour not okay?
  • Instead of “covering” for our friends, what could we do instead?

If your tamariki have completed the There For Me activity and still have their worksheets, these would be great for them to refer to, but if not, then simply reprint new versions for each of them.

Ask tamariki:

Do you remember this activity?

What did you learn?

  • It’s all about the different kinds of friendships we have – different friends play different roles for us.
  • What kind of person would be the ‘engine or motor’ friend?
    • Someone energetic, reliable, calm, quiet… Tamariki can’t really answer this incorrectly!
  • And do you remember how you might describe yourself as a friend?
    • Tamariki don’t have to answer this out loud, but it's worth reflecting on. EVERYONE offer something positive as a friend.

Ask tamariki:

Do you know what an ‘Upstander’ is?

If not, ask them to consider a situation where someone is being bullied. They could be a friend of yours, or you may just witness it –

They may know what a bystander is, an Upstander is the opposite to this.

  • An Upstander is someone who tries to help or support someone experiencing bullying through words and/or actions.


It’s someone acting with courage. But note that an Upstander doesn’t have to show courage all of the time, everyone can choose to be brave in moments, even if they're worried or frightened.

Explain that for example, Pink Shirt Day originated because of a couple of Upstanders – back in 2007, David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick, Nova Scotia, bought and distributed 50 pink shirts after a male student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.


Have a look at your car, what type of friend were they being?

  • Tamariki can work in pairs or groups to discuss this.

Ask tamariki to share this!


There are Five Actions to be an Upstander

  1. Awhi/support the person experiencing bullying – Awhi the person being bullied, even if you just stand beside them and let them know you’ve got their back and they’re not alone.
  2. Distract – Interrupt the bullying in some way. Ask if they would like to play a game. Anything non-threatening will do the trick.
  3. Call it! - Let the person doing the bullying know that what they’re doing isn’t okay. It can be hard in the moment but it can make a huge difference. If you feel safe to, use your words to show kindness and aroha to those involved.
  4. Leave and act – If you don’t feel safe to step in while the bullying is happening, move away from the situation and have a wee think before actually doing something. E.g. letting the person who was bullied know that you saw it and perhaps ask what might help, or call it quietly with the bully.
  5. Get some tips or help – You don’t have to challenge bullying on your own. Seek out some help from others – friends, whānau, parents, teachers or a helpline. Then act on their advice, or have them awhi you to act. There are people who care and want to help!

Watch this video together, then:

  • Ask tamariki:
    • which of the 5 Upstander actions each of the adults is using.


  • Notice how it might be easy to ignore the bullying (be a passive bystander). Listen to their responses - being an Upstander can be pretty daunting for some!


  • What good might happen if you choose to be an Upstander instead?

Refer tamariki back to their worksheets.


  • That in the bus stop video the Upstanders were being a good mate to the younger girl even through they didn’t know her. We can all do this.

If we think about your car and its different parts, be creative and think about:

  • What kind of mate would ‘be a mate’ to someone being bullied – where are they on your car?
  • What kind of mate would ‘distract’ – where are they on your car?
  • What kind of mate would ‘call it’? – where are they on your car?

David Sheppard and Travis Price may have done some of these things too, then used the strategy to ‘leave and act’ in a pretty creative and impactful way.

Finally, ask tamariki to spend some time on their own reflecting on times they have used some of these actions (who were they being in terms of a mate) or who could they be in these challenging moments to bring about their Upstander quality?

Upstanding is inside us all, but we may feel more comfortable with some techniques rather than others. The important thing is to do something.

What next?

To build on your Upstander abilities and learning you could try our Upstanding Plan!

Or use our classroom activities to build on aCulture of Kindness in your school or develop tamariki strengths (including kindness and courage!) by learning about these here.

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