Bullying is an issue which affects all members of the school and community. At the high school level, teens can often take bullying to extreme levels, causing significant emotional and/or physical harm to survivors of bullying. Including a lesson plan as part of the high school classroom can help to educate students on the many forms bullying can take, as well as provide clear solutions and possible intervention strategies for students to use when bullying occurs.
Ideally, this lesson plan can be included as part of a larger bullying awareness and prevention plan for the school. Including the school counselors as part of the bullying lesson plan is suggested.
Students will be able to identify types of bullying, the impact of bullying on teens, and strategies for the prevention of bullying and interventions.
The beginning of the bullying lesson should include a 5-10 minute introduction to the issue of bullying. The following are possible introduction options:
a. Use a Power Point presentation which highlights they types of bullying and some examples
b. Lecture format- introduce the topic by pointing out the various forms of bullying
c. Video clip of movies or television shows which portray types of bullying (Mean GIrls, Glee
This classroom exercise is designed to encourage participation. The first step is to have students take out a sheet of paper and brainstorm ideas related to the bullying topic. Students can be asked to write about how they feel about bullying, examples of incidents of bullying they have witnessed, or what their ideal solution would be to prevent bullying.
After students have competed the “think” part of the exercise, they should be paired up with a partner. Students will then compare ideas and thoughts with their partner and come up with a few key ideas to share with the class.
During the “share” part of this exercise the teacher can randomly call on pairs of students to share their thoughts about bullying. This part of the exercise can be easily adapted to focus on any bullying theme the teacher feels is most important for the lesson.
Conclusion and Homework Assignment
An open discussion about bullying can be a good choice for the conclusion of the lesson. Teachers can encourage students to think about how bullying can be prevented and how their school can best develop a zero tolerance policy toward bullying. If bullying is a central lesson which will include more lesson plans on the topic, a homework assignment or class project can be an excellent way to reinforce learning.
Some possible class homework or projects include the following:
a. Group project: Small groups work to create a school awareness message about bullying
b. Creative arts: Students can create individual projects about bullying through Power Point presentations, videos, interviews with other students, essays, or any other method applicable
c. Reaction journal assignment: If journals are a part of the class, include an assignment for students’ reactions to the bullying lesson
d. Poster presentation: students create bullying message posters related to interventions or zero tolerance policies for bullying in all its forms
It is likely that some students in the class have been impacted by bullying, whether as the aggressor or the survivor of bullying. Students should be given contact names for professionals or school staff members who they can talk to further about bullying issues if needed.