Bullying can take many forms in elementary school. Name calling, physical harassment, cliques, and ostracizing are some of the most common ways elementary school students are exposed to bullying. Teachers can create more harmonious classrooms by including a bullying lesson plan as part of the classroom. Students can learn how to identify bullying and what to do if they are the victim of bullying or know someone who is.
The lesson plan can be adapted to fit the level of any elementary classroom. If an elementary school counselor is available at the school, provide students with an introduction and information on how to contact the school counselor or other school staff members if they need to talk more about bullying.
1. Students will be able to identify the four types of bullying’
2. Students will be able to give at least one example of a real-life bullying incident
3. Students will be able to name at least one way to report bullying
Elementary school students will benefit from a brief introduction about bullying. This can be done as a brief lecture and include types of bullying (verbal, physical, emotional, cyberbullying), examples, and ways to deal with the issue of bullying in and out of school. Teachers can create a poster board display of the types of bullying to keep in the classroom.
This activity should take between 10-15 minutes. Students should be given a white sheet of paper to write down their thoughts about bullying. Younger students can be asked to use crayons to draw a picture of what bullying looks like. A few suggested prompts for writing include the following:
a. How can words be used to bully? (name calling, picking on others)
b. What types of physical acts can be forms of bullying? (i.e. pushing in line, poking, hitting)
c. What is emotional bullying? (cliques, hurtful words and actions)
d. What are some examples of cyberbullying? (texts, using Facebook to talk about others)
Break the class into small groups of 4-5 students and have them share their brainstorming activity ideas. Go around to each group and ask students what important things they learned or shared about bullying.
The bullying lesson plan can be the start of a class project on bullying and a great way to get students involved in the prevention of bullying in their school. Some ideas for a class project include:
a. School wide posters with anti-bullying messages
b. Class zero tolerance policy agreements (students sign agreements against bullying)
c. Class video project or skit
The bullying lesson plan should be the start of a dialogue about bullying. Teachers can help students to identify ways to report bullying and what to do if a student witnesses acts of bullying. If students are hesitant to directly report bullying incidents, provide a box where students can submit reports of bullying anonymously.