Easy Character Education Lesson Plan on Cyberbullying for Grades 4th to 6th.
- To define cyberbullying.
- To explain the ways cyberbullies harass others.
- To contrast the differences between in-person bullying and cyberbullying.
- To list and discuss ways to report cyberbullying.
Resources and Materials Needed
- Venn Diagram and Understanding Worksheet
- Reading Passage
- Students will be able to identify places that cyberbullying occurs.
- Students will be able to recognize what cyberbullying and how it differs from in-person bullying.
- Students will be able to name ways to report cyberbullying.
Allow students to share what they know about bullying.
- Read the following passage to the students:
Robert is in fifth grade. He gets teased sometimes at school. He uses websites to stay in touch with his cousins who live far away. He has a private profile and only accepts friend requests from people he knows. A girl from school named Jenny wanted to add Robert as a friend on this site. Robert thought Jenny was a nice girl, and he accepted her request. Jenny started sending very mean messages to Robert through the website. She teased him and posted information that was embarrassing and not true on his profile page.
- Ask your students:
- Do you think Robert was being bullied?
- What do you think Robert should do?
- Take a few minutes and write down what you think.
- Allow students to share their answers if they are comfortable.
Part A — Explanations
1 - Explain that even though it took place on the Internet, what happened to Robert was a form of bullying, and bullying of any kind is wrong. This kind of bullying is what we call cyberbullying.
2 - Give students the definition of cyberbullying.
- Cyberbullying is any kind of bullying that takes place electronically.
3 - Ask them to brainstorm places where people communicate or share information electronically and make a list of these on the board.
- → Online websites
- → Social media sites.
- → Text messages/cell phones
- → Chatting
- → Text messages/cell phones
4 - Remind the class how Robert was cyberbullied by Jenny in the story from the warm-up. How did Jenny bully Robert online?
- By sending mean emails and posting embarrassing information that wasn’t true about Robert.
5 - Tell the class that cyberbullies will bother and harass others the same way regular bullies do. Then ask the class: What are some ways people might try to bully others online or with electronic devices? What are some examples you can think of?
- Sending mean text messages
- Spreading rumors online
- Putting up a photograph of someone to embarrass them
6 - Tell the class there are some other ways that cyberbullying and in-person bullying are different.
- Cyberbullying can happen anytime since we have Internet and cell phones available to us all day long, every day.
- Cyberbullying can happen anonymously since you never see who actually is behind the keyboard doing the typing.
- (Other possible answers you can give if they don’t come up with them: posting negative and embarrassing videos of someone, putting up pictures or videos that are embarrassing in general, making a fake profile under the victim’s identity, texting the victim numerous times to make a cell phone bill go up.)
Part B — How to Report Cyberbullying
1 - Tell the class that while you should still inform a parent and a teacher that you have been cyberbullied, there are some special differences to keep in mind when you need to report cyberbullying:
- Do not respond to a message that contains cyberbullying
- Do not forward that message on to others
- Print out the evidence if you can
- Do not delete the evidence
- Block the bully from your phone, profile, or email address
- Report the bully’s phone number, screen name, or email address to the phone company or web site
2 - Inform students that if there are threats of violence or hate crimes, inappropriate videos or pictures, or stalking taking place that they should report the incident to the police.
Part C — How to Protect Yourself Against Cyberbullying
1 - Give students examples of ways to try to avoid a cyberbully and allow them to offer their own ideas and suggestions.
- Maintain a private profile if you use social media
- Only accept invitations and friend requests from people who are your true friends or family members
- Be cautious about sharing your phone number and email address
Part D — Journalism/News Reporting Game
A - Divide students into pairs. Each group will be assigned a place where cyberbullying could take place: email, text message, social media site, chat room. You will need to have several groups cover the same territory depending on class size.
B - One person in the pair needs to be the live news reporter and the other is the news anchor in the newsroom.
C - The students will create a hypothetical cyberbullying situation and need to be able to complete a news report. They can use the following questions or build upon them:
- → What is cyberbullying?
- → Who is being cyberbullied?
- → Who did the bullying?
- → What happened?
- → When did this take place?
- → Where did it happen?
- → How did this happen/How did the bully get the victim’s information?
- → How did the victim report the incident?
- → What will happen to the bully now?
- → How could the victim protect himself/herself from cyberbullying
Students will script out their skit and present them to the class.
Directions:—Students will fill in the Venn Diagram on worksheet 3. List all of the DIFFERENCES between bullying and cyberbullying in the corresponding circles. List the SIMILARITIES in the overlapping circle.
Collect worksheets and review the differences and similarities between cyberbullying and regular bullying. Go over the ways to try to prevent cyberbullying and ways to report cyberbullying.