Grade 3

The Power of Words

What should you do when someone uses mean or hurtful language on the internet?

As kids grow, they'll naturally start to communicate more online. But some of what they see could make them feel hurt, sad, angry, or even fearful. Help your students build empathy for others and learn strategies to use when confronted with cyberbullying.

See the U.K. version of this lesson plan

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand that it's important to think about the words we use, because everyone interprets things differently.
  • Identify ways to respond to mean words online, using S-T-O-P.
  • Decide what kinds of statements are OK to say online and which are not.
Key Vocabulary: empathy  ·  interpret
to imagine the feelings that someone else is experiencing
to understand something based on our point of view
Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech
This lesson meets standards for Common Core ELACASELAASLand ISTESee standards
Don't have time for a full lesson?
15 mins.
Use this quick activity to engage students around key learning outcomes.  Get the quick activity

Lesson Plan

45 mins.
Extension Activity:

Prepare slips of paper with comments that say mildly unkind things, like:

  • I  can't believe you like superhero shows. Only first-graders do.
  • You are weird.
  • Why are you wearing THAT shirt?

Pass out one slip to each student and pair them up. Have students trade slips and read them silently. Then have them trade back and take turns saying the comment aloud to the other person. Ask them what the difference was between writing something not-so-nice and being accountable for what they were saying to someone's face. Emphasize that people sometimes hide behind the anonymity of their online activity. Remind students that if they wouldn't say something to another person's face, it's not OK to say it in their online activities.

What You'll Need

A long string or rope ·  Paper  
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Classroom resources

Take-home resources