Bullying: what it is, and what to do.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, so what better way to get a head start than to do some bullying prevention lessons in our schools now? I don’t know how it is for you, but in my district, we are required to teach our students about bullying before the middle of September.
I always find that by October, our students could use a refresher. And – let’s be honest – they could probably use one any time of the year when their prevention skills start to dry up. So, having some videos and quick activities in my back pocket to address these concerns saves a lot of time.
So, here’s two different videos to get you started! Part 1 describes the definition of bullying and the 4 different types (physical, verbal, social/emotional and cyber). Part 2 dives into what students can actually do if they (or someone they know) is dealing with a bullying situation.
Show these videos as an introduction to your lesson, then consider doing some of the following:
Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
Start by choosing a book from the Bullying Book Handout. Most of the books located on this list link to a YouTube read aloud. This makes for an easy and engaging extension lesson for you and your students. Once you have read (or watched) one of these books, use the discussion questions below to review the concepts taught in the SEL Sketches videos
- Was there bullying in the book?
- Who was being bullied? How did you know?
- Who was doing the bullying? How did you know?
- What kinds of bullying did you see (Physical, Verbal, Social/Emotional, Cyber)?
- How do you think the person being bullied felt?
- How do you think the person bullying felt?
- Why do you think the person bullying was doing so? (There is no wrong answer here, but try to help them understand that we never really know – what if they’re being bullied too? This is why we speak up and tell an adult!)
- Did they do anything in the book to stop the bullying? If yes, what was it? If no, what could they have done?
3rd Grade – 5th Grade
It is so important to have meaningful conversations at all grade levels about bullying; however I find the most value in doing so with my 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. The Bullying 101 Lesson Plan and Presentation helps to get the conversation started by offering three different activity ideas.
You could do each of these activities as a lesson, or even use them 1-2 times per day during morning meeting/community time throughout the month of October to really keep the discussion going!
First is Conflict vs. Bullying. The word bullying gets tossed around a lot – even with those situations that are truly just conflict. This activity can be used to help further student understanding of (1) the definition of bullying and (2) how to tell the difference between what is just an “everyday” conflict and what dives deeper into bullying territory.
Next is an activity to help students identify the different types of bullying (physical, verbal, social/emotional, and cyber). This one really sparks conversation in my lessons because some questions actually have multiple answers. Bullying is never truly “one size fits all”, so I find that having several different answer options for each scenario really gets students talking!
The last simply asks students to answer the question of “What would you do?”. Given a scenario, what would you do? Would you ask for help from an adult? Would you stand up to the person bullying? They’re simple questions based on sometimes complicated scenarios.
The last thing I have my 3-5 students complete is a Bullying Google Form Exit Slip. Many students that I work with are hesitant to reach out and ask for help. Maybe they’re afraid, or they feel like they’re tattling – whatever the reason it’s important to give them a voice. This form allows them to not only ask for help, but also ensures that they have a trusted adult they can turn to in the building should the need arise. If any student signals that they do not have a trusted adult in our building, their classroom teacher and I will discuss this and make a plan to help the student become connected!