I did this activity with my class and it has been a great one! I passed out paper to each student. They were all asking "What's this for?" I did not say anything.
I instructed them to crumple the paper, stomp on it, but not to tear it. Once we were done, we smoothed the page out.
I explained that no matter how much we smooth it out, it will never go back to how it was.
Then, I spoke about the words we say to each other and how they truly affect us.
I said that when we say mean things, they stick. No matter how many times we say we are sorry, these words can impact someone for a lifetime.
Since this lesson, the students are trying. They are a gifted class so they sometimes expect perfection from themselves and each other. They will say "You are wrinkling him/her" if a student says something mean.
I left these pages up as a reminder of how important our words are.