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Cyberbullying - Types, Consequences, Supports [4-6]

Lesson plan


  • Review the types of bullying, specifically cyberbullying
  • Discuss the impact of cyberbullying on students who are cyber bullied, students who cyber bully others, and students who see it or hear about it
  • Learn safety strategies for using technology
  • Identify appropriate ways to respond to cyberbullying and who to seek help from


Additional Information for Facilitators

This lesson should take approximately 45 minutes to complete. Facilitators should review the answers and suggested responses for each activity so they can add additional information that may be specific to their school or community. Facilitators may want to consider what support resources are available in the area for youth that deal with cyberbullying.

The purpose of this lesson is to help youth understand the importance of thinking before they post, and how what they do online often can't be undone. . As adults we must decrease vulnerability and help youth to decide when to hit send, when to hit delete, and how to protect themselves when they use technology.

Teaching/Learning Strategies

Introduction: Lesson Outline (2 minutes)

  • Tell students that in today's class, they will review what cyberbullying is, talk about how it hurts everyone involved, discuss safety strategies for using technology and responding to cyberbullying, and learn who to go to for help.

Activity #1: Reviewing Bullying and Defining Cyberbullying (15 minutes)

Strategy: Graphic Organizer

  • To start, have students work with a partner or in small groups for this activity. Assign students to partners or small groups using a random strategy (such as numbered heads), rather than letting students choose partners or groups.  Provide each student with a copy of the Bullying & Cyber BullyingGraphic Organizer (4-6.1 Handout). The Bullying & Cyber BullyingGraphic Organizer Reference (4-6.1 Reference) is a resource that the facilitator can use when taking up student responses.
  • Have students review and identify the common types of bullying. Take up student responses and encourage the class to add any responses they did not have. The class responses should be recorded on a piece of chart paper.
  • Next, have students identify some ways that youth cyber bully, or use technology, to bully one another. Once again, take up student responses and encourage the class to add any responses they did not have. The class responses should be recorded on a piece of chart paper.
  • Finally, as a class, use the information gathered in the first two questions to generate a class definition of cyberbullying. Be sure that the definition includes what cyberbullying is and how it is done. A sample definition is provided on the Bullying & Cyber BullyingGraphic Organizer Reference (4-6.1 Reference) page.

Activity #2: Cyberbullying Makes Us Feel… (10 minutes)

Strategy: Triple T Chart

  • Tell students that in this next activity, you will have them reflect on how cyberbullying makes people feel. They will work with a partner to think about how cyberbullying affects the person who is being cyber bullied, the person who is cyberbullying, and the people who witness cyberbullying happening. Provide pairs with a copy of Cyber Bullying Makes Us Feel (4-6.2 Handout) and give them 5-10 minutes to work on it.
  • When students look like they are finished, go around and ask each group to provide one or two responses for how the person who is being cyber bullied feels. The facilitator should record the responses on their own triple T chart, either using chart paper or the SMART Board. Students should add any new responses from classmates to their sheet.  Repeat this process to discuss how the person who is cyberbullying feels and how the people who witness cyberbullying feel.
  • Debrief this activity by reminding students that we often don’t think about how others feel in these situations, and hopefully this helped them understand that cyberbullying hurts everyone. Tell students that it is their responsibility to stand up against cyberbullying and that when someone stands up against bullying, we call them an “upstander”.
  • Conclude this activity by reminding students that sometimes in bullying situations, the peer pressure or “power” can make us caught up in the moment, and we often forget to stop and think about the longer-term consequences and how bullying makes everyone else feel. It is important to remember that there are lasting consequences when we post or send information using technology. Real life goes on, but there is always a trace left behind online.
    • Facilitator should consider linking to recent stories in the news about youth who experienced negative consequences as a result of cyberbullying (e.g., charged, death, etc.)

Activity #3: Online Safety (10 minutes)

  • Start by telling students that we need to remember that just like we have rules and expectations in our day-to-day lives, these same rules and expectations apply online. Students need to understand is that if they are communicating with someone, then they are in a relationship with them. The same rules and expectations for healthy relationships apply whenever we communicate, whether it is face-to-face or using technology.  Provide a quick review of the rules and expectations, for example, “Everyone has the right to be safe and feel respected, and everyone has the responsibility to treat others with respect.”
  • It is important to understand that there are rules and expectations for all relationships, whether we are face to face or online. Remember that everything we do online or post online can be saved or forwarded, so it is difficult to erase.  We want to make sure, just as we do in the real world, that we are always putting our best self forward and that we are behaving appropriately, respectfully, and safely online at all times. Technology is powerful because posts and sent messages have a long life span.
  • Provide students with a copy of Online Safety (4-6.3 Handout) and have students read aloud to the class. Put a copy up in the classroom, preferably near the computer work station, and remind students that these are the online manners the class will abide by from now on. New items can be added to the list as necessary.
  • Tell students that sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we don’t know how to get out of. We might be angry and write something inappropriate online, or we might get a text from a classmate that is spreading a rumour about another student. At these times, it is important that we do the right thing.
  • Ask students who they could go to or where they can get help when they are being cyber bullied or know someone who is cyberbullying another student.  Ask for volunteers to share their answers.  The facilitator should create a list on chart paper or the SMART Board with all the student responses.
    • Answers will vary; some suggestions are:  parents, older siblings, relatives, guardians, neighbours, facilitators, teachers, educational assistants, crossing guards, kids help phone, police, principal, older students, coaches, Elders, help lines, etc.
  • To conclude, remind students that they never have to face bullying or cyberbullying alone. Encourage them to always ask for help and seek support.

Conclusion: Cyberbullying 3-2-1 (5 minutes)

Strategy: Exit Statement

  • Provide students with a copy of Cyber Bullying 3-2-1 – Exit Statement (4-6.3 Handout). Give students time to complete the exit statement.  When they are finished, students will submit their completed exit statement to their classroom teacher.  The teacher should review the exit statements and hand them back out to students during the next class.
  • To conclude the lesson and summarize the important points, each student should be provided with a copy of the handout, Cyber Safety Top Three Tips (4-6.5 Handout). A copy should be made into a poster and hung in the class. Be sure to review the handout with the class:
    • Tip #1: Rules for respectful relationships that apply offline also apply online. Remind students that it is important to know and remember that their real world rules also apply online. If they wouldn’t swear in real life, they shouldn’t do it online. If they wouldn’t say mean things to someone in person, they shouldn’t say it online.
    • Tip #2: Stop and think before you post/send.  Remind students that they need to think before putting anything online or in a message/email, including pictures, messages, blogs, posts, information, links, etc.  Anything that is transmitted digitally or electronically potentially has a long life-span. Sometimes it is there forever. Really think before you hit send about the consequences, outcomes, and "life span" of the content.  Consider what information or image you want to have on the Internet long term.
    • Tip #3: Be fast to report and hit delete. Tell students that it is equally as important to be fast to hit delete. When you see or receive an inappropriate, disrespectful, hurtful, harmful piece of content about someone else, tell an adult and delete it. Don’t forward it on. Don’t keep it. Don’t share it.  If it is about you, print and save a copy.

Suggestions for Extension Activities

Students could…

  • Create a poster to raise awareness about cyberbullying.
  • Set up a rules and regulations contract for safe technology use for their personal lives.
  • Make up a “supports” sheet of who to ask for help or where to get more information about cyberbullying.

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