Teach your students about bullying and how to protect themselves on the Internet.
- Read books aloud in class and discuss the types of bullying evident in the story, how children in the story were affected by bullying, how the bullying was/could be resolved, and how adults and students can help to stop bullying. For suggestions of age-appropriate titles, visit the Resource Kit on the Stop Bullying Now! Website: www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov.
- Have students critically analyze television shows and movies to observe bullying behaviors, such as exclusion from groups, public humiliation, verbal abuse, etc. This exercise encourages students to develop critical analysis skills and to recognize the prevalence of bullying behavior in pop culture and how it becomes accepted as normal.
- Discuss and design rules for appropriate Internet behavior with students so that they gain a greater responsibility of cyber citizenship. Post rules in the classroom near computers and revisit them often. Consider developing safety pledges that you and your students agree on, will commit to, and are willing to sign. Some schools view it as requiring students to get their “Internet driver’s license.” (See Netsmartz Safety Pledges, www.netsmartz.org/resources/pledge.htm or PBS Web License, http://pbskids.org/license/index.html for examples.)
- Look at multiple sites with your students and then discuss how to tell if a site is secure and/or if it would be easy for people to create fake identities on a site. (Example: Myspace, Facebook, Amazon, Ebay)
- Have students Google themselves and share with you what they find.
- Create a list of key Internet-related buzzwords and safety tips. Then have students create informational posters or tip sheets to be displayed in the classroom.
- Write a “Friendship Recipe” telling someone how to be a good friend. Include the “ingredients” of a friendship and the recipe for being a good friend or making new friends.
- Have students complete the Stand Up/Sit Down Similarities/Differences Exercise.
- Have students design posters that illustrate the theme of the National Bullying Prevention Campaign – “Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now!” Display posters around the classroom and school.