This is the definition I use with students. If all 4 statements are true, then we can call the behavior bullying. If not, we cannot label it as such. If there is a back and forth pattern of aggression, then it’s “social aggression” because there is no imbalance of power (as there is with bullying). The document below describes the definition in reference to a form. In our district we have an anonymous bullying reporting box in every one of our buildings so students can feel free to safely report incidents. This definition helps reduce the number of unnecessary referrals.
*Idea from School Counselor Blog
I open this lesson by reading The Sneetches . a book about how “star-bellied” Sneetches feel that they are better than “plain-bellied” Sneetches. I ask two students to help act out the story as I read it, allowing for a more interactive and engaging story. I use Post-Its with stars drawn on them to define a star-bellied vs. a plain-bellied Sneetch. After the story, we reflect on the way the Sneetches treated one another at the beginning and how that changed by the end.
Then, we transition to a game. Students stand in a circle while I hand out Post-Its with stars on them. I alternate so that half of the students have stars and half do not. I remind students that having a star does not mean that you are better–it’s just for the game. I start by tossing a beach ball to a student with a star. I tell that student one positive trait that I see in them. Then, that student tosses the ball to a student WITHOUT a star and says one thing that makes that student special. This continues until all students have participated.
Finally, we discuss how these positive statements felt. I write the feelings words on the SMARTboard and when I’m finished, I stand in front of the board, showing how kind words and actions give people positive thought bubbles. (This idea came from Pinterest )
My Kid Would Never Bully
Dateline NBC aired a special called “My Kid Would Never Bully” that aired in 2011. Within the special, teenagers are put in mock bullying situations to see how they handle themselves. Who ignores it? Who joins in? Who stands up for the target? The results will surprise you.
I used some of the shorter . more appropriate clips with my 5th and 6th grade students. The videos were great conversations starters and worked well with other classroom activities on bullying. The full Dateline special can be viewed here .
Here is another idea I got from Pinterest .
Students can create shields with positive solutions to problems such as anxiety, bullying, and other difficult issues. These solutions protect them from the negative affects of their problems. Great discussion starter!
I just heard about this amazing anti-bullying video that Cypress Ranch High School created. I was instantly impressed by the production quality and collaboration between the various student groups featured in the video.
This would be a fun way to end a unit on bullying, helping students feel empowered and ready to start their anti-bullying efforts. You can’t help but smile when you watch this.
Watch the video at ESC.org or on my YouTube channel .
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For the Birds
Want more great short films?
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One of my favorite Pixar short films is called “For the Birds.” It’s about a group of birds with poor social skills. I use this film to discuss the types of behaviors that students see or engage in at school. The worksheets are a great way for students to express how they would respond to these situations.
For the Birds Worksheets (PDF)
I used this lesson with 2nd graders, but I could see it with older grades as well.
I started with the PowerPoint, which lends itself to discussions about anger and the choices we can make when we’re angry. The students were definitely engaged by the Angry Birds theme.
Then, I divided the students into 4 groups and had them write down positive choices they could make when they are angry. Each group had a different type of behavior to think about: throwing things, giving mean looks, saying mean words, and screaming. Groups presented their ideas on a poster, which I created using my school’s poster maker.
To help my students understand the differences between rude, mean, and bullying (including the differences in how to respond), I used the green monster (see picture and video on the left) as the “rude monster,” “mean monster,” and “bully monster.” Student volunteers offered to face the monsters and to respond accordingly. We did this role play as we learned about each concept in the PowerPoint. I also made sure that they knew it was the monster saying things like “I don’t like you,” not me. They did a great job and it really energized the lesson.
I used the same video clips as the K-2 and 5-6 lessons. It helps to make the flip books ahead of time so that students don’t need to spend time doing it themselves.
Letter to Parents (3-4)