Goals of the exercise: To explore the role of the bystander in bullying and how you can help prevent bullying; to understand what it means to be a bystander; to learn ways to prevent bullying when it is experienced by others
Age of the participants: 10+
Number of participants: 16+
Duration of the exercise: 40 minutes
Materials: A variety of arts and craft supplies such as (markers, pens, pencils, crayons, stickers, glitter and glue). 1 or 2 flip charts per group.
Step by step
Part A (5 minutes)
In a larger group (or divide into smaller groups with one leader in each group) present the following questions for discussion.
- What is a bystander?
- Do you think bystanders can be neutral when they see others being bullied?
- How do you feel when you see others being bullied?
- What do you usually do?
- What bystanders can do to stop bullying in their schools?
Part B (25 minutes)
- Divide the participants into groups of 8-12 people. Give each group a box of arts & crafts supplies and 1 or 2 flip charts.
- Tell them that their job is to draw “The Greatest Hero” or someone that can “STOP BULLYING IN A SINGLE BOUND!” Using the arts and crafts supplies they should draw an approximately life size person (if someone fits on the paper they can trace around them) and create their own super hero against bullying.
- They should come up with a name for the person and draw what he/she would look like. On the side list the “stats” of the superhero such as those things that make this person able to stand up to a bully.
- If time permits, ask each group to present their hero and some of its characteristics (if possible, stick the posters on the wall of the classroom and/or ask the teacher to follow-up the activity).
Process your activity asking some of the questions below to allow the group to express their opinion.
- What did you learn about the topic of bullying today?
- Can you think of times in your life when you or someone you know was bullied?
- How do you think being bullied makes people feel?
- If you or someone you know is being bullied what are some things that they can do for help or to stop the bullying?
- If someone started bullying you, who would you talk to about the situation? Who are the people that would help you?
- What does it mean to be a bystander? (Watching someone being bullied without stepping in or getting help.) Why are some people bystanders when it comes to bullying? How can you go from being a bystander to someone who helps the situation?
- Now that you know more about bullying what do you think you can do to make a difference at school? In which ways you could help someone who was being bullied?
Authorship/adaptation or source: Adapted by Associazione Culturale Strauss. Formerly adapted by Mark Mains, Extension Specialist for 4-H Youth Development, University of Kentucky from training materials supplied by Deana Reed, Extension Specialist for 4-H Youth Development, University of Kentucky. Originally adapted from “Breaking the Code” by Kansas State University Extension