Cyber Bullying and Cyber Safety Lessons {Part II}

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Part I of this series: 5th Grade Lesson on Cyber Bullying and Cyber Safety


I begin my 6th grade lesson with a review of the things we covered in 5th grade, including ways to stay safe on the internet, the differences between meanness and bullying, and the definition of cyber bullying. As mentioned in my previous post, the video I show to my 5th graders is so powerful that the 6th graders recall it immediately.

The rest of this lesson focuses on the effects of bullying, particularly cyber bullying. I show a video of Lizzie Velasquez, a woman who experienced bullying and cyber bullying as a result of a rare syndrome that affects her outward appearance and health. In this video, Lizzie speaks about her experiences and how she did not let the cyber bullies define her. She chose to define herself, and as a result was a happier person. You can view this inspirational video here.

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I initiate a group discussion about the video and about the major consequences of bullying. Then, we begin our activity. Each student is given a blank piece of paper and a marker. I instruct the students to write the labels they think other people give them, sometimes without even knowing them.

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Some responses I got this year include “dumb jock,” “stuck up,” “fatty,” and “spoiled rich kid.” One of the more interesting labels that one student wrote was “always happy,” which she viewed as a negative because her peers expected her to be happy all of the time, and she felt as if she wasn’t allowed to ever be sad or angry. Interesting! This led into a great discussion on stereotypes and judging others, which we tied back into the main topic of cyber bullying.

In the final part of the activity, the students are told to cross out the labels that others give them and replace those labels with their own definitions of themselves. “Dumb jock” turned into “smart and athletic,” “stuck up” turned into “quiet and shy,” “fatty” turned into “cuddly,”  and “spoiled rich kid” turned into “grateful for everything I have.” Pretty insightful for a group pf 11 and 12 year-olds!

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We talk about the activity and close out with a review of everything brought up in the lesson.


Part III {the final part} of this series will be coming on Friday!


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