How to Prevent Bullying – A 5 Step Plan

It’s unfortunate to say that we’ve all experienced some form of bullying, and so have our kids and students. Whether being bullied, being a witness to bullying or being the cause of bullying, this pervasive social issue is strong amongst school-aged peers.  Bullying can have short and long term effects that are detrimental to students’ physical and/or mental well-being.  Here is my 5 step plan on how to prevent bullying from happening in your classroom, home or school.

Also, be sure to check out my anti-bullying posters here.


 

1. Identify

It’s important for kids to identify bullying when they see it and understand that it involves many parties.  Once they are able to identify it, they can better avoid it or call it out.  

Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
Have students discuss and define the parties involved in a bullying situation, which include: the target, bully, bystanders and trusted adults. (Taken from 3rd Grade Thoughts)
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
It’s important that students know what bullying looks and feels like.  We can’t realistically expect students to not joke around or to not have conflicts with one another.  However, they should know when and how to joke around, and how to solve a conflict using peaceful strategies.  (Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers)

 

2. Promote Kindness

Show kids how amazing it feels to be kind to others and to receive kindness from others.  They’ll get hooked on this feel-good sentiment.  Make it part of your class culture to build each other up, while never tearing each other down.

Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
Encourage students to use this activity to take a compliment and give it to a deserving peer. You could create some strategies around this to ensure that each student gets a complement.  As the year progresses you can come up with more creative compliments, such as: “your work inspires me”, “I think you’ll be very successful one day”, etc.  (Taken from TeenBeing)
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
Create a shout-out box, where students can write shout-outs to their peers for a job well-done.  Alternatively, if you have a student of the week in your class, you could have classmates write weekly appreciation notes to that student for all of their wonderful qualities.  (Taken from Third Grade Galore)

 

3. Inspire Empathy

Explore activities that teach students to empathize with one another.  This is one of the best ways to prevent bullying.  A student who can feel with others is less likely to hurt those around them in a way that is intentional and continuous.

Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
This crumpled heart activity is a nice way to discuss empathy.  For full instructions visit Squarehead Teachers.
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
This is a similar activity to the crumpled heart, but the students get to play a more interactive role here.  This also has an element of surprise that the students may not expect.  For full details and instructions visit Babble.com.
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
Have students celebrate and unify with their new-found empathy by creating a no-bullying pact.  This can be in any form your students would find appealing.  This picture shows a class that has created bracelets as a reminder of their pact.  (Taken from Suffield Elementary Art Blog)

 

4. Discuss the importance of bystanders

Once you’ve thoroughly discussed bullying, kindness and empathy with your students, it’s important to discuss the role of bystanders.  Bystanders to bullying can make drastic changes and potentially stop bullying in its tracks.  Here is an example of an anchor chart and discussion base about bystanders:

Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
(Taken from Ms. Sepp’s Counsellor Corner)

 

5. Read Together

There are so many fantastic books which wonderfully model how to handle bullying situations.  Once you read the books, you and your students can have a real discussion based on the story.  Here are some books to look into:

Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
With some words of encouragement, this Giraffe is able to achieve his goal of dancing!
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
Will anyone stand up to this recess queen?
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
With the help of others, standing out from the crowd can be amazing!
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
When bullying strikes, we may need the help of friends to overcome it.
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
The title says it all.
Follow this 5 step plan and learn how to prevent bullying in your classroom, home and school!
Want wonderful lesson plants to go along with some of these great books? Check out this awesome resource: The Ned Show.

Let’s hope posts like this one wont need to be created in the future :).

p.s. Don’t forget to check out my bullying poster, available here.

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