Last month was National Bullying Prevention Month, but educators know that bullying is an everyday issue. According to the NEA, it is the number one discipline problem in middle schools and a significant problem at all grade levels. So, how do we provide students with the safe and supportive climate for learning they deserve?
Here are some suggestions for continuing your anti-bullying message long after National Bullying Prevention Month. These online sites address bullying through activities that engage students and encourage them to consider their actions toward others.
Bystander Revolution offers a collection of videos featuring well-known celebrities. After watching these featured stories, additional videos provide the opportunity to learn more from peers through their experience in being bullied. For specific problems, try using Bystander Revolution’s search tool for related videos. You may want to consider these ideas for incorporating this site into your classroom:
- Embed a video on your class website (or watch together on your interactive whiteboard) as you focus on a bullying issue each week.
- Create a bulletin board for students to post stories of how they faced bullying or intervened in a bullying situation.
- Take advantage of The Weekly Stand found on this site. This PDF lists week-by-week activities to take the power out of bullying.
- Create video stories about bullying. Use a tool such as Amazon Storybuilder to make storyboards for your videos.
Creating Safe Spaces includes lesson plans and activities for strengthening students’ social-emotional skills. Although created for elementary level students, easily adapt activities for use with older students. Some ideas found on the site include a ‘Spreading the Good’ Scavenger Hunt and The ‘You Matter’ Game.
- Extend activities beyond the classroom to your community. Ask your town’s mayor to visit your classroom and discuss positive things happening in the community.
- Instead of using a classroom wall for a bulletin board for the Wall of Caring, use an online bulletin board such as Padlet. Share your Padlet with other classes to create a community testimony of caring deeds.
Developed specifically for teens, Breakaway is a football-themed online game that teaches how to deal with stressful situations including bullying. The Facilitator’s Edition of the game provides options for teachers to rapidly move through the game as a way to understand and prepare for use. Also, there is an excellent Facilitator’s Guide including goals of the game, classroom activities, and questions for furthering discussion. The guide may take a while to load on your computer; however, it is worth the wait and once downloaded is ready to print.
- Be sure to check out the “Wheels” found in the appendix of the Facilitator’s Guide. These infographics provide valuable information on violence and equality for teens.
- Have students research and create infographics after playing Breakaway including information on bullying. Canva Infographic Creator offers easy to use templates with drag and drop features to easily make and share infographics.
- After playing Breakaway, have students create their own anti-bullying comic. Comics Head is an iPad app for creating comics easy enough for 2nd graders to use.
National Bullying Prevention Month provides an excellent beginning to embrace positive social interactions in your classroom and school, but these lessons shouldn’t stop at the end of October. Continue to promote positive behaviors and discuss how to handle bullying through specific lessons all year long. Remember to share your classroom activities with parents as you work together to provide a supportive and positive climate for student learning.
What has been your best anti-bullying lesson or activity? Share your thoughts in the comments below.