Lesson Plan

Becoming an Upstander

Students will use their knowledge of digital citizenship to develop a skit, comic strip, or play about the importance of being an upstander.
Jeff D.
Classroom teacher
Millard Elementary School
Fremont, CA
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My Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
Digitial Citizenship and EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to ...
1. use prior knowledge about story elements and script writing to work in collaborative groups to create a skit, comic strip, or play about being an upstander.
2. use online resources to word process and create content on a specified topic.
3. learn how to work in groups and practice communication and collaboration skills. 


English Language Arts
Health & Wellness
Grades 5 - 7
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Teach unit on digital citizenship.

Before introducing the creation of the skit or play, I recommend teaching Common Sense Education's "Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding" lesson.

After completing the lesson, have students complete "Insta-Slammed" on Digital Compass website

2 Introduce skit, play, or comic strip assignment

I use Google Classroom to deliver my instructions for the assignment. In these instructions, we review the topics that students have been working on the over the past unit. The students have certain technology skills already and know how to create a presentation. 

In this assignment, they are told that they will reflect on what they have learned and will work in teams to create a skit, a comic strip, or a play on what it takes to be an upstander. 

You can split the work however you like. I instruct them that they can work together in teams of no more than three and that they can also work by themselves. 

Student Instructions

You will create a play or comic strip about being an upstander.

At least 1 target, 1 bully (cyber, physical, or both), 1 bystander, and 1 upstander

The play or comic strip should have a setting, a conflict, and a resolution where the upstander steps in to help the target.

You can work on this either by yourself or in teams of no more than three people.

If working in teams, have one person create the work and share it with others in Google Drive.

Create your work in Google Classroom. This is where you will turn in your work when completed.

There is no length requirement to this part of the assignment. You just need to make sure you cover the content pieces mentioned above: Setting, conflict, and resolution.

You have three class periods to work on this part.  The second part of the assignment will be added to this document at a later point.

Whether you decide on a play or a comic strip, start off by planning out your project in a Google Doc.  Write down the setting (where does it take place), the conflict (what type of bullying and the situation), and the resolution (how does the upstander react and take care of the situation).  You should have your plan completed prior to moving on to dialogue and design.

If you decide on a play, it would be wise to use a Google Doc to create it in.

If you decide on a comic strip, you may want to use Google Slides, PowToon, WriteComics, ComicCreator, KidSpace, Storymaker  (If you choose a comic strip, you need to map out what you want your story in a Google Doc prior to creating the comic in an outside site.)

3 Group Practice

In this part, you are the coach while you allow the students opportunities to work through the process of working in teams to plan and create an artifact. Allow them to struggle with the teamwork process and get creative in how they express their beliefs about what an upstander is. 

Many of my students choose to use Google Slides to create their comic strip as opposed to web-based program. 

4 Presentation and getting feedback

Activity: Presenting

Before students publish their final project, they will present their skit, play, or comic strip to at least two other groups and complete a grading rubric. They will have the option to take the feedback they receive and update their projects prior to turning them in. 

5 Reflection

Activity: Other — Reflection

To me, this is the most important part. I create a Google Form and have them record their reflections. There are two learning objectives that I have for this lesson. The first is to demonstrate they have an understanding of what an upstander is and the importance of being one. The second is the collaborating with other individuals to create knowledge.

In the reflection, I ask them the following questions:
1. What did you learn about being an upstander?
2. Why is it important to be an upstander?
3. What can you do to encourage others to be an upstander?

From here, I ask them some group learning questions:
1. What was the best part about working in a team/individually?
2. What was the hardest part about working in the a team/individually?
3. What would you do differently next time?
4. What would you do the same?