Pioneer Peace Pack Activity 1 - Bullying
Aim of the activity:
To explore the nature and causes of bullying and to examine possible strategies for standing up to and challenging bullying behaviour.
What you will need:
Flip chart paper and marker pens
Copies of the STUDY: KIDS RATE BULLYING AND TEASING AS 'BIG PROBLEM' handout (download it below)
Explain to the Pioneers that they will play a version of Simon Says in which only some people will respond to each command.
Tell the group that they must watch carefully as they play the game because at the end, each Pioneer will have to tell the group one new thing they learned about someone else.
Lead a game of Simon Says. Provide such directions as
Simon says "Everyone with brown eyes, stand up."
Simon says "Everyone who has a dog as a pet, put your right hand on your head."
Simon says "Everyone whose favourite sport is soccer, stand on one foot."
Simon says "Everyone who speaks more than one language, jump up and down."
and so on. Choose categories appropriate for your Pioneers.
At the end of the game, get the group to sit in a circle. Ask each Pioneer to name one way in which he or she and another student are alike. The trait they share must be something they didn't know before playing the game. They might say, for example, "I didn't know that Katie spoke Spanish" or "I didn't know that Jose was left-handed."
1. Ask the Pioneers: What is bullying? Record ideas on a flip chart sheet. Invite them to share what they feel about bullying and if they have had any experiences they would like to share.
2. Get the group to divide into small groups of 2 or 3 and give each group a copy of the STUDY: KIDS RATE BULLYING AND TEASING AS 'BIG PROBLEM' handout. Ask them to read the article and discuss the questions in the box. After 10 to 15 minutes get the group back into a circle and ask for feedback on each of the questions.
3. Brainstorm with the group different examples of bullying and write them on the flip chart. Get the Pioneers to rate the examples from least to most severe.
4. Ask the Pioneers to get into small groups. Each group should select one of the bullying examples from the flip chart and devise a short drama in which they role play the example of bullying they chose. They should come up with at least one specific way for the person being bullied to get help.
NOTE: Be sure to explain the seriousness of the activity to the group. It is important that they realize that these acts of disrespect cause many young people to feel alienated and depressed. The reason for this activity is to help them gain empathy, determine ways to reverse these disrespectful practices and help other young people who are teased or bullied to become empowered.
5. Get the group back together and ask each group to present their drama.
6. After all of the presentations, brainstorm the ways that people can get help. The ideas may be results of the drama work or ideas that have not yet been mentioned. Write these up on a flip chart sheet.
The Pioneers could refine their sketches to present to Elfins. Suggest to them the idea of creating presentations that teach younger children the importance of respecting one another and methods they can use if they are being teased or bullied.
- Can someone be a bully without meaning to be?
- What's the difference between bullying and just fooling around?
- How big a problem is bullying in your school?
- How does your school deal with bullying?
- Find out more about bullying using the internet
Ask the Pioneers to try and find out:
How widespread is bullying?
Why do people bully?
Why is bullying harmful to victims, perpetrators and the school community?
What can young people, teachers, parents and school administrators do to stop bulling?
What are some of the common elements of different anti-bullying schemes?
This task could be done at home and a presentation make to the group on the following week.
HOW NOT TO BE A BULLY
Sometimes it is difficult to know what is or is not bullying. Often, actions start out just being fun, but may at some point actually turn into bullying. Discuss with the Pioneers how you can decide whether something has become bullying. Suggest the following strategy:
Stop and think and ask yourself these questions:
- Are my actions or words hurting someone else's feelings?
- Are my actions or words hurting someone else physically or making that person feel afraid?
- Would I want someone else to do this to me?
- Am I unfairly taking my anger out on someone?
- Am I trying to control someone against his or her will?
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