This Bullying Circle Handout is based on Olweus’ bullying prevention program. I tweaked his wording a bit to make it more kid-friendly and added some pictures. I think that it does a great job of explaining that bullying is the different roles that individuals play in bullying situations and helps kids understand that bullying is not just something between a bully and a victim. It can create a powerful discussion about which side of the circle they would like to be on and can encourage them to become defenders. Be sure to use plenty of examples when explaining the different roles. It also helps to make up one central example (i.e. every time Joanna, a 4th grade girl, gets on the bus, Timothy, a 5th grade boy, trips her and makes her fall down the aisle. The whole bus ends up roaring in laughter and teases her for being “clumsy,” and a “klutz.”
This Bully Busting Handout is based on Trevor Romain’s video “Bullies are a Pain in the Brain.” I LOVE Trevor’s videos and have used them for several of my lessons. In his video, he describes 5 ways that kids can put a STOP to bullying, or be “bully busters.” I’ll use this handout with the students after we watch the movie to process the ways to stop bullying. We’ll discuss examples of situations in which these strategies might be effective and why they might be helpful.
My principal wanted me to create an anti-bullying group for four 4th grade boys. One boy was consistently victimized by bullies and the other three boys were perpetrators of bullying to several students at school. For our first session together, I wanted us to create an “Anti-Bullying Pledge” for our school and then to create a banner to display in the entrance-way of our school. I found three anti-bullying pledges online and had my students look through them for ideas in creating their own pledge. Here are the 3 pledges that I used…
- “Anti-Bullying Pledge” from http://www.bullying.org
- “Anti-Bullying Pledge” from Arkansas Safe Schools Initiative
- “Steps to Respect Anti-Bullying Pledge” from the Steps to Respect Curriculum
The students worked together to underline the parts of each pledge that they thought were the most powerful and effective. We then combined pieces of each of the pledges to create our own pledge:
“I think being mean stinks. I won’t watch someone get picked on because I am a do-something person not a do-nothing person. It is up to each of us to make sure that bullying does not happen. Bullying bites! Report bullying! Be a role model. Tell a grown-up that you trust!”
After writing our own pledge, I gave the students a large banner and markers to use. We decided to write “STOMP OUT BULLYING!” on the banner and to trace each of our shoe prints onto the banner (get it, stomp our bullying, feet stomp…clever, eh?) Then, each student wrote a piece of our Anti-Bullying Pledge on the banner, as well as any other comments that they wanted to add. One student added, “Be a rockstar, not a bully!” and I added, “Bully free is the way to be!” We then decorated the banner with all sorts of different shapes and designs. Here is how it turned out!
It took us a total of 2 sessions (about 1 hour and 15 minutes to write the pledge and to finish the banner). The boys were VERY proud of their work and were thrilled to hang the banner right in the entrance-way of the school.
I stand in the front of the school every morning, and it was so neat and rewarding to see them look at the poster and discuss it with their friends. This was a fun and worthwhile project that I would definitely recommend to anyone! It could also easily be adapted for use with a wide range of ages!