Beacon Lesson Plan Library

The Fence

Christine Davis
Bay District Schools


The students become aware of the lasting effects that their words and actions have on people.


The student knows the skills needed to be a responsible friend and family member (e.g., doing chores and helping others).

The student knows various ways of communicating care and consideration of others (e.g., sharing and saying `please` and `thank you`).


- 1-2 sheets of brown constuction paper
- Marker
- 25 push pins (one for each student)
- A towel
- A list of the I-Care rules. The I-Care rules are found in the Peace Works curriculum published by the Peace Education Foundation, Inc. P.O.Box 191153, Miami Beach, Fl 33119


1. Using the brown construction paper, draw and cut out a section of picket fence. Make sure that it is big enough to put 25 pushpins in it. The fence should be about two feet in length.
2. Fold your towel so that the fence will be able to be placed on top of it. This is to give the pushpins a surface to stick into. The fence can be placed on a table or a desk during the lesson. You can also use cardboard or the carpet of your classroom in place of the towel.


1. Review the I-Care rules with the class. Be sure to include good examples (saying thank-you) and bad examples (pushing somebody out of the way) of the rules.

2. Ask the students to remember a time that somebody did something mean to them. Call on several students to share their experiences with the class.

3. Ask the students why they think that they can remember these “bad” things in their lives. Write down their responses on the board.

4. Show the class the construction paper fence. Explain to them that they are going to “explore” what unkind words and actions can do to a fence.

5. Lay the fence down on the towel. (You may want to fold the towel over once or twice. The towel gives the pushpins something to poke into.)

6. Explain to the class that they will each have a turn to come up and get a pushpin. They will tell the class something that is unkind (calling someone a name, skipping someone in line, lying, etc.). After they tell the class their unkind deeds, they will stick the pushpin into the fence. Continue calling on students until everybody has had their turn.

7. Review with the class how the pins were put into the fence (because of an unkind action or word). Ask them how they might be able to remove the pins from the fence (a kind action or word). Call on a student to come up and give an example of a kind action or word and then have them remove a pin. Continue until all the pins are removed.

8. Ask the class if they think that the fence will look the same as it did when they started. (No, it has holes in it). Ask the class if the holes will ever go away. (No, they are like scars.)

9. Review the students’ responses on the board about why they can remember bad things in their lives.

10. Explain to the students that when somebody does something bad to us, it is like a boo-boo. When a boo-boo heals (time passes), it leaves a scar. When somebody does something to hurt us, it leaves a scar in our mind. Explain that although there is nothing we can do to remove the scar (take away the hurt we caused), that it is important to say that you are sorry.

11. Explain to the students that if somebody says they are sorry, it is important to try to forgive them. It may not be easy, but it is the right thing to do.


Formatively assess students’ responses for bad actions and words and good actions and words. Provide corrective feedback. (Examples: That’s right. Pushing somebody out of the way is not nice. Are you sure that calling somebody a mean name is a nice thing to say?)


Have the students write in their journals about a time when they did something mean to somebody and what they should have done instead.
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