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Cyberbullying - Impact - Prevention - Resolution [7-8]

Lesson plan


  • 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
  • Examine strategies for preventing and responding to cyberbullying
  • Identify positive social behaviour online and offline
  • List the supports that are available


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 talk about the impacts of cyberbullying, look at ways to prevent and respond to bullying, and review positive social behaviours online. Supports to deal with cyberbullying will also be addressed.

Activity #1: Impacts of Cyber Bullying (15 minutes)

Strategy: Venn Diagram

  • Tell students that in this activity, you will have them reflect on the impacts of cyberbullying. They can work with a partner or in small groups for this activity.  Provide each person with a copy of Impacts of Cyber Bullying (7-8.1 Handout). As they are answering each category, remind students to consider the impacts on all students involved – the student who is bullying, the student who is bullied, and the bystanders.
  • When students are finished, ask each group to provide one or two responses for the impacts on the person who is being cyber bullied. Possible responses are provided on Impacts of Cyber Bullying – Reference (7-8.1 Reference). The facilitator should record the responses on chart paper or the SMART Board. Students should add any new responses from classmates to their sheet.  Repeat this process to discuss the impacts on the person who is cyberbullying and the impacts on the people who witness or are bystanders to cyberbullying.
  • 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.

Activity #2: Preventing & Responding to Cyber Bullying (15 minutes)

Strategy: Graphic Organizer

  • For the next activity, put students into small groups.  Tell students that the groups will receive a copy of a handout with a cyberbullying scenario on it. Their job is to review the scenario and discuss how to resolve it appropriately, and how it could have been prevented.
  • Provide groups with a copy of the handout Preventing and Responding to Cyber Bullying (7-8.2 Handout).  Read the following scenario (also at the top of their handout) aloud to the class:
    • Jasmine and Damien have been friends for many years, but recently Jasmine has felt left out from things that Damien organizes with their friends. The other day, Jasmine sent Damien a text asking if he was mad at her for some reason. She didn’t get a response. Later that night, Jasmine was working on a project with David, another friend from school. David logged onto his Facebook and Jasmine saw on his newsfeed that Damien had made a post that he found Jasmine annoying. There were comments from other friends. David quickly turned off his Facebook. When Jasmine checked her own Facebook, she realized that Damien had changed his settings so that she couldn’t see his posts.
  • Give students about 10 minutes to work with their groups to come to a resolution.
  • When the time is up, have each group present their answers about how they would resolve the conflict and how it could be prevented in the future. The student responses should be recorded on chart paper or SMART Board.  A facilitator reference sheet is available with sample responses on the Preventing and Responding to Cyber Bullying – Reference (7-8.2 Reference) page.
  • To conclude this activity, reinforce the messages from Activity #1. Ask students to consider how they would feel if they were Jasmine (the person being cyber bullied), David (the bystander caught in the middle) and Damien (the person who bullied, whether he meant to or not). Prompt students by asking questions like the following:
    • Do you think Damien just needed to vent or blow off steam and since Jasmine couldn’t see it, he didn’t think he was hurting her?
    • For anyone who commented on Damien’s status, were they reinforcing his behaviour or should/could they have stood up for Jasmine?
    • Do you think this is a situation that just got out of hand?
  • Remind 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. Remind students that in the scenario with Damien, Jasmine and David, it is clear how easily things like this can happen online and how quickly situations can turn into bullying.
    • 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: REAL World, Online World (10 minutes)

Strategy: Give One, Get One

  • Put students into small groups and provide each student with a copy of Safe and Appropriate Behaviour (7-8.3 Handout).  In their small groups, students should come up with three to four examples of how to behave appropriately in the real world. They will then have to apply it in the online world.  Tell students that these can be examples of manners, etiquette, safety strategies, or rules/expectations at school. The handout has one example included at the top.
    Note to facilitator: for additional information or ideas, view Dr. Debra Pepler’s 3 minute video on cyberbullying at
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  • When the small groups have recorded their responses, students will “give one to get one” until they complete their handout. To do this, students will walk around the room, meeting up with students from other groups and share one response from their sheet in exchange for a unique response from their classmate’s sheet.
  • Once everyone has filled in their sheet (or is close to completing their sheet), have students sit down and the facilitator should take up the responses as a group. Some sample responses can be found on Safe and Appropriate Behaviour – Reference (7-8.2 Reference).
  • Conclude this activity by telling students that we often don’t think about our online world as having rules or expectations. 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 post online has lasting consequences. 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.

Conclusion: Cyber Bullying – Who Can Help? (5 minutes)

Strategy: Exit Statement

  • 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.  When someone stands up against bullying, we call them an “upstander”.
  • Remind students that they never have to face bullying or cyberbullying alone. There is always someone who can help. Encourage them to ask for help and seek support. 
  • Provide students with a copy of the exit statement, Cyber Bullying – Who Can Help? (7-8.4 Handout). Tell students to list as many sources of support that they have to deal with cyberbullying. Prompt students by suggesting that they think about people in their life, school, and community while they answer the exit statement. 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 (7-8.5 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 podcast to raise awareness about cyberbullying.
  • Research one source of “support” and present the information to the class.
  • Create an informational pamphlet for younger students to inform them about cyberbullying and identify who they can go to for help.
  • Create their own cyberbullying scenarios and then list ways to prevent and resolve the situation.

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