Bullying Prevention Lesson Plan: The Courage to Be an Upstander
This lesson helps students build their courage and confidence so they can be upstanders for kids who are bullied.
- reflect on why it takes courage to be an upstander for someone who is bullied
- learn specific steps for building their courage and think of other ways to do this as well
- role-play being upstanders for someone who’s being bullied
- chart paper and marker
- handout: “What Real Kids Have to Say About Being an Upstander When Someone Is Bullied” (located at the end of this article)
On chart paper, copy the following, leaving blank spaces so students can suggest additional entries:
Build Your Courage to Be an Upstander Against Bullying
- Practice the Dignity Stance. It will help you stand tall to help others.
- Use deep breathing to keep your cool.
- Rehearse your words.
- Picture yourself helping assertively.
- Partner up. Have a friend join you to confront someone who’s bullying.
Tell students that today they’ll be learning more ways to build their courage “muscles” so they can be upstanders for kids who are bullied. Ask: What are you already doing to help when someone is being bullied? Discuss.
Ask: Why does it take courage to be an upstander? What stops you from helping someone who’s being bullied? Discuss, emphasizing that each time someone stands up against bullying, this helps put an end to it. Ask: What are some things you’ve learned that can help you gain the courage to be an upstander for kids who are bullied? Discuss and review strategies that have been introduced.
Pass out copies of “What Real Kids Have to Say About Being an Upstander When Someone Is Bullied.” Ask for five volunteers to read aloud the quotes from kids who’ve been upstanders. Ask for students’ responses.
Then direct their attention to “Build Your Courage to Be an Upstander Against Bullying” on the handout and chart. Go through steps 1–5 with students, discussing each one and answering questions. For the fifth step, help students recognize how partnering with another person can give them courage by not having to face the situation alone.
Then ask: What else would give you the courage to be an upstander if you see someone who’s being bullied? Write suggestions on the board. Discuss, then ask students which two they find the most helpful. Add these to the chart. If there are more than two, include them as well.
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