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!
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!
Making an impact. It’s something we all strive towards, especially when talking about bullying. Research states that 1 in 5 children experience bullying and making an impact on this statistic is something towards which teachers, parents, and leaders have been working for many years. Along with equipping students with tools to deal with conflict and emotion from a young age so that they do not become bullies, educators have striven to also provide tools to those adjacent to the bullying--the bystanders.
While studies show that 20% of children are bullied, it also reveals that nearly 71% of children witness bullying. The encouraging news is that 57% of the time, that bullying ends within 10 seconds of peer intervention. This means that a large population exists which can be leveraged as a force for good.
But what happens when standing up to bullying (often referred to as being an upstander) goes wrong? Like fighting fire with fire, things can quickly go from bad to worse. While standing up to bullies is vital, doing so through the use of violence, mocking, or returning the bullying will only cause more trouble. So, as we teach children to be upstanders, it is just as important to teach them how to be upstanders.
In the picture book A. Blob on a Bus, by L.A. Kefalos, we once again meet A. Blob, the purple bully introduced in the 3-book series inaugural book, This is A. Blob. In this new tale, A. Blob is back to its bullying ways and, for a while, it seems like the children will never be able to ride the school bus in peace. That is, until one brave girl decides to take a stand. A. Blob on a Bus introduces the idea of being an upstander to young readers and opens the door for conversations on what to do when they see bullying occur. The companion craft below is designed to help leaders begin discussions about why it is important to stand up to bullying along with how to do this in a positive way.
The kids will love making their own "A. Blobs" and you will love the learning happening along the way!
MAKING AN IMPACT
A companion craft for A. Blob on a Bus, by L.A. Kefalos
Step 1: Read A. Blob on Bus out loud
Step 2: Open a discussion about the story. How did A. Blob’s presence change the environment of the bus? If no one liked the way A. Blob was behaving, why did it take so long for anyone to stand up to it? What are some helpful ways to stand up to others? What are some not-so-helpful ways?
Step 3: Craft time! As you make the craft, continue the discussion on being an upstander.
Begin mixing your ingredients. As you mix, talk about some of the “ingredients” that create a bully. Why do some people bully others? Talk about what it means to have empathy and why it’s important to put ourselves in the shoes of others. Even though some people bully others because they have been bullied or hurt themselves, does that make their behavior ok?
The school bus before and after A. Blob's arrival. Which bus would you rather be on?
-Images from A. Blob on a Bus, by L.A. Kefalos, illustrated by Jeffrey Burns
Using examples from the book, remind children that the way we treat one another has an impact on them and the situation. We have the power to change and so it is important to stand up against bullying, even when we aren’t the ones being bullied. We must be upstanders, not bystanders!
However, there are helpful ways to be upstanders, and not-so-helpful ways. When we react to bullying with more bullying, the problem only becomes worse. Show the students how when we hit the mixture, it becomes hard and resistant. However, when we treat it gently, it is soft and pliable. Discuss positive ways to stand up against bullying.
If you use this craft in your classroom or home, we’d love to see! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and use the hashtag #ABlobCraft.
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.