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Learning Goal

Students will understand bullying and know how to respond to it.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Understand what bullying and cyberbullying are
  • Distinguish the types of bystanders and motivations for each
Learning Summary

Bullying is defined as intentional, aggressive behavior that causes someone harm; a pattern of behavior or repeated act that happens over time; and involves an imbalance of power in a relationship. While many schools use a bullying program or curriculum, this lesson can serve as an introduction by defining bullying,
distinguishing between bullying and conflict, and teaching what to do when a student sees or experiences bullying.

The lesson starts with a mindfulness breathing activity in which students move their hands together and apart as they inhale and exhale. You then lead a conversation on bullying while focusing on cyberbullying. After the terms are defined, students learn about the different roles of bystanders in bullying (followers, supporters, outsiders, and defenders). Students work in groups to better understand and explain each type of bystander’s motivation and then share out as a group. Students end by journaling about a time either they were bullied or they witnessed bullying and what they would now do differently.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Bullying

This lesson does not require any significant modifications for online learning other than the Bullying Roles worksheet filled out independently. We encourage you to use the slide deck to walk through the definitions and roles of bystanders.

After the What Can We Do activity, review the worksheets as a class.

Consider showing one of the videos from the lesson variation section and assigning the Bullying Roles worksheet as homework.

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose.

Responsible decision-making: The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacities to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.

Social awareness: The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.