Lesson Plan

Take the Cyberbullying Pledge

Students will learn about Cyberbullying, how to respond to it and take the pledge not to participate in Cyberbullying
Craig R.
School Counselor
Dorseyville Middle School
Pittsburgh, PA
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My Grades 6, 7, 8

Students will be able to define Cyberbullying and give examples of what Cyberbullying looks like.

Students will be able to identify one or more ways to respond to a Cyberbullying Incident directed at them.

Health & Wellness
Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The Hook

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Explain to the students that today in class there is going to be a discussion about Cyberbullying.  To start off the discussion - using padlet - have students post their own definitions of what they think Cyberbullying is.  To get students thinking as the guiding questions.

What do you think it means when someone experiences Cyberbullying?  What does Cyberbullying look like?

Where or how does Cyberbullying happen?

When might someone experience Cyberbullying?

Give students about 3-5 minutes to respond and then review the student's answers.

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Presenting

After reviewing the class's definition of CyberBullying read to them the from website http://stopbullying.gov

Bullying is defined as "unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose."

Explain that Cyberbullying is very much like Bullying only that instead of happening "in real life", Cyberbullying happens using personal technology such as the internet, cell phones, devices, and apps "to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.”   

Show students the video from the StopBullying.Gov website that further defines Cyberbullying. 


3 Guided Practice

Using Nearpod - poll your classroom on whether or not students have ever experienced Cyberbullying.  Feel free to adjust the questions as to what you think would work best in your classroom.  Ask the following questions

Have you ever experienced Cyberbullying?  Yes/No

If you have experienced Cyberbullying, where did it take place?  Text Message/Social Media/Chats on Kik or oVoo/Website/Somewhere Else

If you ever experienced Cyberbullying how would you react?  Tell my parents/Tell a teacher or counselor at School/Message the Bully Back/Other

Review the results of the polls with the students.  Is the class surprised by any of the answers.

Present the following case studies (or create your own) via Nearpod to the class from the website Growing Wireless.  Feel free to use the open response feature of nearpod or use nearpod to guide classroom discussion.  http://www.growingwireless.com

Case Study #1

"Henry was a shy sixth-grader who recently arrived at school from out of state. One day as he was browsing a social media site he came across a page about the school with pictures of students, including one of him labeled “The Fat Nerd.” Upset, he posted a reply expressing his dismay.  The postings became nastier, and soon some students were making loud comments in the lunchroom and on the playground." 

Ask your students the following questions

1. )  What do you think Henry is feeling as a result of being cyberbullied? 

2.)  Why do you think Henry was getting cyberbullied in the first place?

3.)  What are some things that Henry could do to make this situation better?

4.)  Why do you think he didn't report the Cyberbullying?

Case Study #2

"Gina, an exuberant and spirited 8th grade student, had a falling out with a girlfriend over a boy they both liked at school. It wasn’t long before Gina began getting rude text messages to her phone at all hours, calling her names and saying inappropriate things such as, “I hope you die soon.” The angry friend had enlisted others to text hateful remarks to Gina too. Gina was devastated, and soon began to withdraw from her friends and active social life. She spent more and more time alone in her room."

1. )  What do you think Gina is feeling as a result of being cyberbullied? 

2.)  Why do you think Gina was getting cyberbullied in the first place?  What made her a target?

3.)  What are some things that Gina could do to make this situation better?

4.)  Why do you think she didn't report the Cyberbullying?

4 Independent Practice/Group Work

Now that you have reviewed two case studies with your class it is time for them to create their own.  Break your class up into groups of 2-4 students.  Give them the job of creating their own Cyberbullying scenario.  For the purposes of variety in the types of scenarios you may want to assign students to the areas of text message, social media, website, etc. 

Have students type out their scenario on a Google Doc and once they are finished have them share their document with you so that you can project or share via nearpod each scenario with the class.

For each scenario depending on the discussion ask the following questions . . .

1. )  What do you think the he/she is feeling as a result of being cyberbullied? 

2.)  Why do you think the he/she was getting cyberbullied in the first place?

3.)  What are some things that he/she could do to make this situation better?

5 Direct Instruction/Discussion

Activity: Conversing

After reviewing the student created scenarios guide students back to the StopBullying.gov website and review how to report Cyberbullying.  Use the webpage http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/how-to-report/index.html#Steps%20to%20Take%20Immediately

Highlight the "Steps to take immediately . . .

Don’t respond to and don’t forward cyberbullying messages.

Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred.

Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers.

Block the person who is cyberbullying."

Move on to describe how to report Cyberbullying.  Encourage students to first and foremost always talk to their parents or another trusted adult if they think they are being Cyberbullied.  Move on to Reporting Cyberbullying to Internet Service Providers, Reporting Cyberbullying to Law Enforcement, and finally Reporting Cyberbullying in School.  Drive home to the students that they can always talk with a Teacher, Counselor or Principal about any bullying or cyberbullying situation.

Before moving onto the wrap up and signing the pledge - go back to the student created scenarios.  Ask students to identify how they would report the Cyberbullying in each scenario and to whom they would report. 

6 Wrap-up/Sign the Pledge

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Share a pre-created Cyberbullying pledge with your class on padlet.  Below is an example of a type of pledge you could use.  Feel free to adjust as needed.  Read the pledge aloud to the class.

"I pledge to take a stand against cyberbullying.

I will not use technology to hurt others.  I will not pass harmful messages, images, or language that is hurtful.

I will use technology responsibly and agree to think before I post.

I will help those who are being cyberbullied.

I will be kind to my fellow students and try to include those who are often left out.  

I promise not to be a bystander to other people’s bullying.  Even if I don’t start it I will not participate in it and instead, I will speak out against cyberbullying.

I will protect myself when using technology.  If I encounter a situation that makes me feel uncomfortable or someone who is offensive I will tell my parent, guardian or another trusted adult.  

I agree to be part of the solution and not part of the problem."

Have students electronically sign the Pledge on Padlet.  Print and Post the Pledge in your classroom.