Be an Upstander...It’s a phrase we give to students and encourage regularly--and for good reason. Studies show that 57% of the time, bullying stops within 10 seconds of peer intervention. Students standing up for other students has proven more effective than any other kind of intervention.
However, for a young child, standing up to a bully is anything but easy. In the heat of the moment, things like fear, uncertainty, shyness, and self-consciousness can quickly take over and render the bystander motionless.
Every child is different, which means some upstander strategies may work for one student and not the other. Children are not one-size-fits-all, so why should the strategies we teach them be any different?
In today’s post, we will be sharing instructions for how to put together a personalized Upstander Strategy Handbook with your students so that when they are faced with bullying, they know exactly what to do!
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Section 1: Definitions
The first section of the upstander handbook is a quick reference guide for students to help them remember the differences between bullying, joking, mean, and rude behavior so that they know when it is necessary to step in or find help.
This section also highlights the 4 roles in a bullying scenario-- the target, the person who bullies, the bystander, and the upstander--and lists some of the effects each of the behaviors can have on an individual.
Section 2: Upstander Strategies
This is the section of the book where students can really personalize the resource to meet their needs. The first page includes a basic list of upstander strategies that students can flip to for a quick reference. In the following pages, students have the opportunity to list their own personal reasons for being reluctant to intervene in a bullying scenario. As a class, choose a few of the most common reasons for being a bystander and talk through some ways to overcome students' fears.
In the third part of this section, students identify places where they have seen bullying occur. There is space to draw the scenario along with space to write a description of what is happening. Students should choose an upstander strategy that they think would be appropriate for the scenario described above. If they have any concerns about what might happen if they intervene, they should list those in the space provided.
The next page leaves space for students to draw a new scenario--one where they are an upstander! What do they predict will happen if they try the upstander strategy? How will things change for the better? If they are concerned something might go wrong, how can they prepare?
Space for 3 scenarios is included in the template provided, but students can create as many pages as they desire.
Now, each of your students has a book filled with upstander strategies made just for him or her! The books are small so that they can easily fit into a folder or backpack and be readily accessible if needed.
Would you try this in your classroom? Let us know in the comments!
Like this craft? Check out some of our other bullying prevention activities!
Of all the posts on the Laughing Leopard Blog, one of the most popular by far is our series on integrating bullying prevention across the classroom--and with good reason! Between testing, lunch, recess, core subjects, specials such as art, music, and gym, teachers are pushed to- and sometimes, beyond- the limit on time and resources. Adding one more thing to the schedule, no matter how important, just doesn’t seem possible.
As we contemplated what to share this week for National Bullying Prevention Month, more ideas for integrating bullying prevention into the classroom seemed liked a no-brainer!
In today’s post, we will share a few fun bullying-prevention lessons that can easily be integrated into your current curriculum. While they do not cover every age and subject, we hope these lessons will act as a jumping-off point for your own social-emotional tie-ins.
An important part of being a good writer is understanding what makes your characters tick. By understanding their moods, thoughts, opinions, and personalities, you are able to understand how they would realistically react to conflict and other characters, helping you create a believable and relatable experience for your readers.
This fun writing exercise helps children practice character development, challenging them to rewrite a well-known story from the perspective of a different character. In doing so, they gain greater insight into the character while practicing the process of writing and developing a character themselves.
As students write from the perspective of another, they learn that other people sometimes see the world differently than they do. Everyone has unique experiences and hardships that influence what they do and how they do it. When teaching this lesson, introduce the idea of empathy and encourage your students to spend some time after the assignment journaling their thoughts about the ways their classmates’ perspectives and experiences might be different than their own and how this might influence their personal stories.
Play around with the experiment by placing some of the flowers in water with nutritious plant food and others in a beverage such as coffee. Record the differences and hypothesise what may be the cause.
As you work this experiment with your students, compare the water and beverages to the way others treat us. The words and actions of others can affect our health, both mental and physical, just like the water and its nutrients determine the health of the plant. When we are fed negative words, they don’t just bounce off. Like the water, they become a part of us and impact the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. Encourage your students to select their words and actions with care and help one another grow with nutritious words of kindness.
History is jam-packed with upstanders, people who saw injustice occurring around them and decided to stand up and do something. History is also, unfortunately, packed with countless bystanders who turned a blind eye or were too afraid to step in, when they witnessed others being harmed. As you teach through these events, take a moment to discuss why people allowed such atrocities to happen, and how others found the courage to take action to stop them.
Relate the events in your history book to real issues the students are dealing with today and talk through ways they can follow in the footsteps of heroes such as Martin Luther King, Miep Gies, or Harriet Tubman. Have students select a history hero and place them in a modern day scenario. How would he or she react and why?
This next project is designed to help students learn more about their peers and come to a better understanding of the meaning of community.
Pair students off and have them interview one another. What do they like to do and why? What are they good at? What is something not many people know about them? Next, students will draw a portrait of their partner that reflects what they have learned. In the background they should include colors, items, and experiences described by their partner.
For a project with a shorter time window, assign each student a word. Some of the words should be kind, others mean. Students will then paint a visual representation of their assigned word. Once complete, have each student share his or her painting with the class, explaining their artistic choices.
Following the presentations, open a discussion on words. While we cannot see them, we all clearly understand that words carry emotions, influence, and power. As we speak to those around us, we must be careful with how we wield these tools.
On the surface, it may seem that math has little to no connection to bullying prevention; however, the world of numbers and figures can do a lot to teach teamwork and togetherness.
One fun game to play is “Same but Different”. This game gives children practice in going back and forth between fractions and decimals as well as practice in simplifying fractions.
To play, pass out a stack of cards to each student. The cards will have either a fraction or a decimal number on the front. Students must then go around the room and find the people with cards representing the same quantity. This includes students with variations of the same fraction (½ and 2/4 for example).
Here is where the social-emotional learning begins. Once a student finds a number partner, they must find one thing they have in common with that person and write it on the back of their card. By the end of class, your students will have practiced their fractions and decimals and also learned more about their classmates. Talk about how, though we all look different on the outside, there is a lot we have in common, just like the fractions and decimals. We are all people with thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We all have happy memories and sad memories. We all have hopes and fears. More often than not, we can find at least one thing we have in common with those around us. As we interact with one another, remember to treat each other as we would want to be treated.
Let us know if you try any of these activities in your classroom and how they worked for you! If you’re looking for more ways to integrate bullying prevention into your classroom, check out the blogs below.
It’s October, which means it’s also National Bullying Prevention Month! This month, we join with communities all over the country to raise awareness about bullying and equip schools and families with the tools to prevent it. Today, 1 in 5 children between the ages of 12 and 18 experience bullying. Sadly, the effects of such treatment can last a lifetime.
In 2006, PACER’S National Bullying Prevention Center founded National Bullying Prevention Month, initially as a one day event, to bring awareness to this national epidemic and begin working towards a solution. The event took off and became so popular that in 2010, PACER expanded it to encompass an entire month of activities. Today, thousands around the nation rally together each October to continue the crusade for kindness.
Books can be powerful tools to help us see life from the perspective of others, begin conversations, and broach serious topics in an approachable manner. This month, we hope to help you harness the tool of literature by sharing a few of our favorite book-based crafts and activities that broach the topic of bullying. We’ll also include a few ideas for ways to integrate bullying prevention into what you are already doing each day.
Today, we tackle the issue of bystanding--what should you do when you see bullying occurring. Or, a better question, what can you do? Standing up for what is right is rarely easy. This fun and simple craft helps children confront and discuss their concerns about standing against bullying and empowers them with tactics they feel comfortable with.
This craft is paired with the picture book, A. Blob on a Bus, by L.A. Kefalos, but could easily be used with other books on bullying.
I CAN BE AN UPSTANDER
Children learn positive ways to be upstanders
Step 1: Read A. Blob on a Bus out loud
Step 2: Begin a discussion on the importance of treating one another with respect and standing up for others.
Why do you think it took so long for anyone to stand up to A.Blob? What do you think would have happened if no one had said anything to A.Blob? What are some helpful ways to stand up to bullying? What are some unhelpful ways to stand up to bullying?
Step 3: Sometimes people don’t intervene when they see someone else being hurt because they don’t know what to say or do.. Today we are going to talk about some positive and helpful ways we can stand up to bullying, encourage others, and make our community a safe, welcoming place.
Begin by asking the students to offer suggestions of ways to stand up to bullying. Some ideas include:
Expand the list to acts of kindness that students can do to make their community a better place:
Step 5: Hang the pictures up around the classroom as a reminder that the students CAN impact their communities for the better!
Will you be participating in Bullying Prevention Month? If so, share how in the comments!
If you liked this craft, check out these activities, designed to help children be upstanders!
About Laughing Leopard Press
Hello! We are Laughing Leopard Press, an independent book publisher from Akron, Ohio. At Laughing Leopard Press, we’re interested in publishing works that contribute to our understanding of this wonderful world. Through this blog, we hope to add to that understanding with commentary on life, literature, and a few things in between. We hope you enjoy the blog and take some time to talk with us in the comments or on our social media sites. Happy reading!
This is A. Blob by L. A Kefalos. $14.95
$1.00 is donated to charity for each book sold on this site--half to St. Jude's and the other half to PetFix Northeast Ohio.