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Design a Program or App to Prevent Bullying

Students will discuss what a bully is and identify different types of bullying they've seen. Then they will create a program or design an app to prevent bullying in their school.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, define the word bully. Then have students think about a time they've been bullied, seen someone else being bullied or heard about instances when someone was bullied online. Rather than having students describe the incidents, ask them if they wish they'd handled the situation differently.
  2. Point out that bullying is hard on everyone involved. Those being bullied may not know how to stick up for themselves. Those bullying may not know how to stop. And those who see it happen may be torn between stepping in and stepping away.
  3. Tell students that the best way to deal with a stressful situation like this is to have a plan. Better yet, stop the bullying before it even starts. Encourage students to discuss how the ReThink software, which they read about in the article, helps do just that.
  4. Have students brainstorm ideas about how to prevent bullying in your school. Encourage them to think about this problem from all perspectives-the bully, the bullied and those who observe these acts taking place. Then have students create an anti-bullying program or design an app that will help prevent bullying in your school. If you wish, invite the school counselor to join the class as you complete this activity.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to present their programs or apps to the class. Encourage classmates to identify features or components that they think will be most effective at preventing bullying.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Discuss what bullying is and brainstorm ideas for an anti-bullying program as a class. Come up with a solid plan that everyone agrees to follow. Provide art supplies and construction paper. Encourage students to write messages to inform others about the anti-bullying plan. Post the messages throughout the school.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Encourage each group to make a list of things they think should be included in an anti-bullying program. Inform students that bullying is a learned behavior, so they should include items that will help younger students understand what they should do, too. Rejoin as a class and have groups share their ideas. Combine ideas to create one master plan. Have students present their program to students in younger grades.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct groups to brainstorm ways to deal with different types of bullying they've seen, including bullying that takes place online. Give groups time to write guidelines for an anti-bullying program. Rejoin as a class and have groups share their ideas. Combine ideas to create one master plan. Have students post the final guidelines on social media sites.
Grades 9-10:
Discuss bullying as a class. Then divide the class into small groups, making sure to include several students who know how to create apps in each group. Give groups time to brainstorm ideas and create an anti-bullying app that will help students in your school.