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.

Lesson Plan


Additional Resources

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at-home resources At-Home Resources

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Lecciones en Español

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Diapositivas Diapositivas

Recursos para el Hogar Recursos para el Hogar

Guías de Administrador Guías de Administrador

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."

Decision-making: The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Classroom Teaching Example