Bullying Prevention Lesson Plan: Help Yourself Deal with Bullying
This lesson gives students strategies for dealing with people who bully them and for building confidence and assertiveness.
- reflect on things they can do to prevent themselves from being bullied
- know what to do to deflect bullying if it should happen (or is happening) to them
- be empowered to be their own advocate if bullying takes place
- chart paper and marker
- handouts: “8 Keys to Making Yourself More Bully-Proof” (located at the end of this article)
- student journal
On chart paper, write the title “8 Keys to Making Yourself More Bully-Proof.” List these key points from the handout:
- Don’t believe a word they say.
- Fake it till you make it.
- Claim your dignity.
- Use an assertive comeback.
- Talk to a trusted adult.
- Stick around other kids and adults.
- Build yourself up from the inside out.
- Reprogram your brain.
Pass out the “8 Keys to Making Yourself More Bully-Proof” handout. Let students know that these keys can do two important things: First, they can help students build the confidence and courage to handle bullying. Second, the 8 Keys can also help them send the message that they are not an easy target.
Activity and Discussion.
Referring to the chart and the handout, go over the 8 Keys, discussing the following:
- Don’t believe a word they say. Ask a volunteer to read aloud this first key. Tell students that one of the biggest problems with bullying is when we believe the things the person says about us. Say: Anyone who bullies is doing it to have power over another person. Even if the person has picked you to bully, they could just as easily bully someone else. If you’re being bullied, it’s very important to remember that there’s nothing wrong with you, no matter what the other person says. Discuss.
- Fake it till you make it. Ask someone to read this key aloud. Ask: What does it mean to “fake it till you make it”? How can pretending to feel strong and brave help you? Help students understand that even if they feel upset, it’s critical to act as if they don’t when in the presence of kids who are bullying. Make sure students know they can let the feelings out when they get home or privately at school with a trusted person.
- Claim your dignity. Have a volunteer read this key aloud. Ask what students have learned that can help them do this. Briefly review the Dignity Stance, having everyone stand and go through each step.
- Use an assertive comeback. Invite someone to read this key aloud, and briefly discuss assertive comebacks students might use if they are bullied.
- Talk to a trusted adult. After having a student read this key aloud, ask: Who are some adults that can help you? (Examples include a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, parent or guardian, youth leader, and others.) Remind students that talking to a trusted person is critical; emphasize that they have the right to ask for help. The adult can either help solve the problem or find someone else who is better able to. Acknowledge that even if it’s hard to get help, it’s important not to stop trying.
- Stick around other kids and adults. Have a student read this key aloud then ask: How can this help you bully-proof yourself? Briefly discuss situations where kids might be alone, and help them strategize ways they could buddy up or stay closer to other people. You might give this example: Maybe you feel like hanging out by yourself during recess rather than play. Instead of sitting somewhere alone, see if you can get a friend to join you. If there’s no one to do that, sit somewhere within the eyesight of a teacher or an aide.
- Build yourself up from the inside out. Have a student read this key aloud. Then ask: What can you do to build your confidence? How can building yourself up inside help you become more bully-proof?
- Reprogram your brain. Discuss how visualization—picturing yourself handling a situation in a strong, confident way—can help you become more strong and confident.
If students say, “Asking an adult for help will make the bullying worse,” tell them that if it does get worse, they need to go back for more help. Reiterate that bullying is against the law in many states, and against the rules of your school.
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