Bullying is a growing problem in our schools today. As teachers it is our job to provide a safe classroom environment for our students. The best way to reach middle school students is to get them to talk about an issue in a way that is personally relevant to them. Students at this age are highly influenced by their peers, so for them to hear experiences other students have had with bullying is the best way to promote understanding, and therefore prevent bullying.
Lesson Topic – Stand Up To Bullying
Materials – Paper, Pencils
Objectives – After this lesson students will be able to identify bullying behaviors .
After this lesson students will demonstrate understanding that everyone has a responsibility to report or stand up to bullying behaviors.
Instruction – Provide students with a definition of bullying. Make sure they understand that bullying is not only physical, but can also be verbal, emotional or mental. Bullying can also be threats, social exclusion, or even gestures.
Place students in groups of four or five. Tell them one person in the group will be the recorder. That person will do the writing. Ask the groups to make a list of bullying incidents or behaviors they have witnessed at school. Make sure they understand not to use specific names of students involved in the bullying incidents.
After a specified amount of time, ask one person from each group to volunteer to be the speaker. That student will read the list of incidents that the group has come up with. Write one or more incident on the board and ask students what they could have done as a victim and as a witness of the behavior. As an example: A student called another student ugly. As a victim, a good response may be to walk away calmly without reacting. As a witness, a good response may be to inform a teacher. Use this opportunity to explain to the students the difference between “snitching” and standing up for yourself and your peers.
Closure – After the lesson concludes, have an open discussion on ideas about how to prevent bullying at school. Tell the students you will leave a box on your desk that they can drop anonymous notes in. These notes can be general questions they may have, they can be concerns or even reports of bullying that they want to keep anonymous.